Wed 13th September 2006
Self professed bringers of the 'loud love', Canada's Dutch Oven certainly know how to kick off a party. The lead track of 'Electric Last Minute', 'Peripheral Indecision' comes catapulting out of the blocks all guns blazing with a punk-rock flavoured riff crowbarred on top of good old Jack Daniels and broken glass vocals that are forced out as if lives actually depended on it. It's reminiscent of The Bronx at their best and one helluva way to introduce yourself. Obviously, the problem with burning such a good song away first is that there's immediately a doubt that the rest of the album isn't going to be able to clear the bar that's been set and for the next three or four tracks at least, this is a major issue.
Sure, there's some nice bits to be had here, the intro to 'Joliette' has a pleasant meandering stoner vibe that is hurriedly brought back in when the song starts to lose it's focus. This is another disappointing trait that Dutch Oven have - a lot of the songs have promising intros that just aren't developed on in the remainder of the track. It takes until track six 'Audible Silence', for things to start looking up - a lush hypnotic groove dominates proceedings and a (very) rare softly softly approach to vocals accentuates the mood set before everything crashes back in for a somewhat triumphant chorus. 'Tropical Fish' wheels out some classic old school fuzzy foot stomping goodness and 'Dead Inside You' is a return to the two minute punk fuelled glories of previous.
Listening to this album can be a slightly irritating experience as Dutch Oven are very capable of churning out a damned good tune, although from the evidence here they are equally adept at delivering directionless tracks. However, if you're prepared to sift 'twixt wheat and chaff there are some very rewarding moments here. For me, it's sit on the fence time...