As I listen to the dulcet sounds of Cuff the Duke’s fourth album, I’m reminded of the words I didn’t and would never say: “say! I’m tired of all this inventive indie rock! What I need is predictable indie folk!”
Yes, not only have I figured out C the D’s crude pun (I GET IT, I “C” your “D”, you fucking vulgar freaks), but I have punctured the yolk of the soft fetus within their Southern Ontarian shell: they just want to be nice guys who do nice things! And not in a deep, serious way, but in the sense that they sing “Love Me, I’m A Liberal” and mean it. And that’s nice in a person, but it’s sad in a band.
This certainly isn’t a bad album. It’s a very pleasant album. But the boys from the Parkdale basement are getting houses in the suburbs at an alarming little rate. The cloying voice and 4/10 lyrics are coming to dominate the scene, and the musical experimentation has given way to sounding a bit like The Eagles. They even get out their self-righteous has more than once, to belt out lines like “take the high road and follow me” as if I won’t mind; as if that’s somehow kay-fucking-o. It makes me sad, but it’s the way of things: we get older and mellow out and go to bed at 12, and this is an album not quite there, but it’s going to bed at 1 on a Friday because there’s a garage sale that it doesn’t want to miss, and it’s okay being a bit hungover, but not seriously. I don’t like it. I’m still me over here, as long as I have people to get wasted with and talk about my problems and their problems with I’ll be doing that, because I’m a fucking child, that’s why. I think the world doesn’t care, and that’s a serious thing, so we have to stick to the people who stick with us, and that’s a serious thing too. Luckily it’s cut by being filled with getting wasted and singing songs and trying to get by. And that’s okay, too, but I’m going West on this one. The big one. Unless I have serious liver disease when I’m 40. We’ll see!
But in any case. I don’t have time for this. Most of this. Some of it I do. I have time for “It’s All A Blur,” since it has an interesting rhythm, even if it doesn’t go much of anywhere. I have time for the one time they get excited on this album, the angrily depressed “Another Day In Purgatory” (even in the in-song line is “one more day in purgatory”), but then they ruin it by wanking out six minutes of a bland folk song called “I Need You” and a few more minutes on a bland outré that seems like it’s here to fill space. There’s not a whole lot else here that’s worth taking time from my mental illnesses for – it’s just kinda nice, and that’s kinda nice, but I don’t think it’ll ever be for me. Music has to do something – mean something – for me to do and mean a fucking thing towards it. This is an above-average album, and by all means give it a listen, but right now it’s all a big Howie Kendrick to me. Of course, I would say that because I’m drunk, and alone.
6 / 10