Mini Album Review: Alphaduka – Alphaduka

Alphaduka

Words: Gary Lambert

Alphaduka pack shotSometimes there are just phrases in press releases that grab you. “This newly formed three piece / bowling team” was one of them. Straight away I thought I would give Alphaduka a listen if nothing else. I was thankful for that phrase by the end of this six track mini-album. This does not sound like an early release of a band, but rather a taster between second and third albums to make sure that you do not forget about a previous favourite.

The mini-album is well constructed and timed. It is music for a wet day and a warm cup of tea. There is something very homely and British about how Alphaduka sound. Yes, the negative argument would be that this is very much a piece of traditional mid paced indie music, but that would negate the quality necessary to make this music feel so instantly at home without being derivative and “borrowing” the odd riff or syntax.

Fierce Panda have a radio and audience friendly act on their hands, although I do think a full length album in this vein would be a bit too samey for any critical acclaim. There is room for a bit more extravagance, ambition or artistry within their sound without compromising what they are doing. My only criticism would be that there is nothing in this mini-album that makes it compulsory for you to listen to it. At times it could be background music rather than stop what you are doing and point your ears this way. That said how many successful albums etc. are so demanding of your attention? If attention grabbing and demanding music was the sign of success The Fall would be the biggest band on earth. Do you listen to Coldplay when you have the house to yourself and can pick whatever you want to put on the player? Or do you listen to Coldplay when you are doing the dishes or the ironing?

Strangely Alphaduka starts off with thirty second blast of shoegaze in Re-Animator which suggests an altogether different piece of music. To be honest, I was quite thankful that the swirling guitars and floaty noises became background to tune and clear vocals as that opening did not suggest anything more than basic. Gradually Re-Animator reaches a point of a forlorn love song rather than a tribute to the eighties cult horror comedy.

The high point of the six-track is I’ll Follow You. This is probably the boldest song on Alphaduka and floats along a current of electronic drum beats, eighties synth like a soft version of The Terminator soundtrack and wonderfully jangly guitar. This is the song which would have you grabbing your phone to Shazam it if you were in a bar or a gig. The track builds to a nice loud finish too. Two thumbs up.

Overall Alphaduka is as good as you would expect from a newly formed band that has not come from a test tube of major label financing and gives you hope that when they reach the stage of a full album it will not be disappointing.

Listen to Re-Animator here:

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