Enter Metropolis

Written by: TL on 12/10/2009 13:05:09

It's seems to occur more and more these days, that talented (and marketable) bands are found and supported much earlier in their career than was the case in the younger years of rock'n'roll. It's not at all uncommon to see British or American bands rearing their heads in public, while they're still barely in their twenties, and here in little Denmark we have of course followed suit, trying to provide our own battery of young guns. We are of course talking about Dúné, who were only about halfway through their teens and halfway through high school when they exploded into the public's view with their debut album "We Are In Here, You Are Out There", from which most (Danes at least) will remember sweet songs like "Bloodlines" and "A Blast Beat" among others. Critically however, the album as a whole did not emerge unharmed, and this is of course something the band has sought to remedy on this new album of theirs; "Enter Metropolis".

From the beginning of "Time To Leave" Dúné show that they haven't gotten to where they are undeservedly, pumping up a mood with a dramatic intro before breaking out their trademark super-charged dance-rock, and especially in the verse, singer Mattias Kolstrup impresses with an attitude-filled sneer. Off to a good start, things are kept going in a similar fashion on "Heat", in which it's hard not to make note of the youthful spirit that drenches Dúné's lyrical universe. Just as you'd expect from a group of youngsters who have just relocated to Berlin to further their careers, topics circle around independence and self-realization:

"Hey girl, they used to tell me/ Youth is wasted on the young/ Oh dear, they stained shall be/ Tonight I'm all about proving them wrong"

Who doesn't either know or remember those kinds of feelings? Regardless, Dúné have not entirely solved the problems that earned them some criticism on their previous outing, as the next couple of songs unfortunately proceed to show. "Memories" depicts all too clearly when the band's up-beat rebellion isn't properly resolved, and leaves you certified that there's a reason Dúné's music have sometimes been called shallow or forced. I guess that's why "Let Go Of Your Love" slows things down more than we're used, and while it's still not as impressive a track as the first couple, the change of pace does at least spice things up, for which I'm grateful. "Final Party Of The 21st Century" tries to kick things back into gear, but doesn't quite make it I think, and if you're in a critical mood, this would be where you'd start having doubts about just how much you like Kolstrup's vocals an lyricism. It's like he's constantly balancing on a knife's edge between delightful youthful attitude and a clichéd whiny overconfidence, and to which side he sways is determined by the overall quality of the track you're listening to.

That's wearing the negative goggles however, and truthfully, nothing has been downward poor or annoying this far into the album, and as soon as you make it through another slow track, "Bring It Back", "Revolution" offers another treat in the epic bridge section that strongly contrasts the dirty groove of the rest of the song. "Heiress Of Valentina" is the song that really makes up for the down time though, offering a wealth of romantic, story-telling infectiousness. And as if things weren't already getting good, "Everybody Fights The Lust" almost runs away with the "Best Song Of The Album" award, with a more aggressive riff a more unrestrained attitude. This is exactly the thing Dúné does best, which is why I'm surprised to find that this song, as well as the following "Remember", which coincidentally is also quite good, are bonus tracks, that are left out in some versions of the album? Whoever made that decision should have their head examined, because both diversify Dúné's palette in a far better way than for instance "Memories" and "Let Go Of Your Love".

Be that as it may, the album is trailing towards its end, or should I say "racing" towards its end, as "Get It Get It" get things pumped on a level with "Time To Leave" and "Everybody Fights...". "Victim Of The City" follows suite, and with the charming female vocals backing it's chorus, it is another obvious star of the pack. "To Metropolis" is unfortunately more of a downward slide to the end than it is a closing firework, but still far from a weak song.

Overall, I think "Enter Metropolis" is actually a very solid and easily enjoyable record, with plenty of memorable moments to boot. That being said though, those who criticize Dúné are still justified, because their attempts to expand their sound still aren't as successful as the songs that follow their core sound, and I do align with the critics in saying that this core sound isn't enough, if this group is going to fulfill the rather epic ambitions that they have sprinkled all over this album. So if you're one for depth of expression and maturity of sound, you're probably going to have to wait for a later release of theirs, but on the other hand, if you're a sucker for unapologetic attitude and energetic, sweeping music, then there's absolutely no reason not to "Enter Metropolis".

Download: Victim Of The City, Time To Leave, Everybody Fights The Lust, Heiress Of Valentina
For The Fans Of: Carpark North, Veto, The Klaxxons, Let's Talk Tactics, Enter Shikari
Listen: myspace.com/dunesite

Release Date 31.08.2009
New Gang Of Robots / Iceberg Records

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