LassooThe Duke Spirit
Not since the heyday of Oasis has a British band arrived on these shores with such an irresistibly classic sound. And The Duke Spirit has something that the Gallagher brothers don?t: a magnificently blonde, camera-friendly frontwoman who seems destined to become an international star. If you?re one of the lucky ones, you?ve seen Leila Moss and her bandmates during their wildly-successful U.S. tour with the Eagles Of Death Metal; if not, well, the ?Lassoo? video will give you the general idea of what you missed out on.
The nautically-themed Neptune ? the band?s sophomore release ? has become one of the true must-have albums of 2008. There?s pure neo-psych (?The Step And The Walk?), aching Stones-like balladry (?Wooden Heart?), raucous rave-ups (?Dog Roses?), bouncy piano rock (?My Sunken Treasure?), and even a mini-epic that climaxes in a burst of Motown horns (?This Ship Was Built To Last?). The brass is back for ?Lassoo?, adding drama and color to a majestic blues-rock number that?s already engrossing. The super-tight band nails everything they attempt, and Leila Moss?s icy-cool, regal, passionate performances prove an indispensible guide through the tempest.
Rock critics on both sides of the Atlantic have been beside themselves with praise: ?Neptune's songs are just as compelling as they are polished?, raves Heather Phares of the All-Music Guide in a four-star review lauding the band?s depth, power, and flair. The Independent of London concurs, and perhaps concedes a little crush on the Duke Spirit?s frontwoman (and who can blame them?) ?It?s been an eternity since we were last blessed with an authentic rock-chick personality?, explains Andy Gill, ?but Liela Moss possesses not just a powerful set of pipes but also the spirit to duke it out (so to speak) with a rock band playing full-tilt at full volume.?
Indeed, Moss is a commanding presence onstage ? and as good as the group sounds on record, they?re even more impressive in concert. The Duke Spirit is a relatively new band; still, they?ve already shared stages with Supergrass, R.E.M., Queens Of The Stone Age, and many other modern rock luminaries. The ?Lassoo? clip catches the Cheltenham quintet in action at London?s super-hip 229 Club: Moss addresses the rapt audience with royal confidence and swagger, shaking her shoulders and brandishing her tambourine like a lethal weapon. Blue and white lights flood the stage and smoke billows behind the drumkit, but it hardly matters: the real pyrotechnics are right there upfront. As always, Moss cuts through the storm and holds the audience spellbound.