Ducking Punches “Fizzy Brain”
This is another release on the excellent Xtra Mile record label. It’s actually the third album by Ducking Punches, but the first one we’ve heard. The band have apparently grown from being an outlet for the solo acoustic songs of vocalist Dan Allen to now being a punk/rock quintet. The fact that they hail from the home of the mighty Canaries (Norwich city F.C.!) already gives them a big chance of being a favourite of ours!
Opener “Greedy Bones” is a bit of a surprise to us, it begins with a kind of folk/punk feel but soon develops in to a much ‘bigger’ sound. It’s followed by the brilliant “Fizzy Brain” a great melodic, punk rock song. Many of the songs have us thinking of US punk bands like The Restorations or a more melodic Against Me. Although the lyrical content of “Drinking Outside Funerals” definitely has a British feel to it.
One of the things that the band do really well, is to ensure that there are changes of pace and style throughout the album. Too many of their contemporaries have produced one dimensional albums that struggle to hold your attention. Here, you get “It’s Not Over Yet Friends”, which is a slow burning heart warmer, followed immediately by the upbeat and straightforward punk of “Fun, Fun, Fun”. Unusually, for us at least, the songs that really appeal on this album are those where they do tone down the intensity. “JFH” does recall the singer songwriter style of Frank Turner, but without being clichéd. Whilst “God Damn Coward” is a perfect blend of melody and passion, factors that make it instantly accessible and loveable.
They return to a more thoughtful mode on “Heathers” which is a song with a surprisingly restrained emotional impact. The pleasant surprises continue with “Taking Back The Living Room”, where the switch to a female lead vocal provides a nice change in tone. The song itself is quite brilliant and has a really infectious feel to it. The album then ends with “Hurts Like Hell”, a song which (and don’t laugh now) starts of sounding like Coldplay. Thankfully, it eventually builds up into another song with a punk rock heart, but one full of passion rather than hate.
This is one of those albums which, to be honest, took us by surprise. We were expecting ‘another’ collection of folk fuelled punk songs. Whilst it may have plenty of songs that fit into that genre, it offers a hell of a lot more. It’s an album where each song offers something different. The kind of album where you just immediately press play again when it finishes. We’re certainly glad to have discovered yet another great band.