The nuclear bomb is one of the most terrifying forces in the history of time. The weapon has the power to destroy hundreds of thousands of people in less than 5 seconds. Not only that, but countless other living beings could be destroyed by the gases released by the bomb. However, a nuclear bomb is sure to create 3 things, explosion, implosion, and corrosion.
Explosion- A release of mechanical, chemical or nuclear energy in a sudden and often violent manner with the generation of high temperature and usually with the release of gases (obviously caused by the detonation of the bomb).
Implosion- Implosion is a reverse explosion that concentrates matter and energy. Buildings are colloquially described to implode when demolished through explosives, causing them to collapse on themselves. Implosion is the inward collapse, the opposite of explosion (the explosion of the bomb will cause buildings to collapse in on themselves).
Corrosion- The chemical or electrochemical reaction between a material, usually a metal, and its environment that produces a deterioration of the material and its properties (the gases into the air will cause some forms of metal to deteriorate).
With these three concepts, Marmaduke Duke creates their debut album, The Magnificent Duke.
Explode is covered by tracks 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16. Implode is covered by tracks 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17. Corrode is covered by tracks 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18. I will review this album by section.
Explode represents the heavier songs on the album. The heavier songs are covered by a typical rock outfit- guitar, bass, drums, vocals. The vocals, covered by both band members, are sometimes clean vocals and sometimes screamed. The clean vocals carry a tune, but are not the best. The screaming is nothing spectacular, but is full of energy and adds life to the music. The explode section seems to be the sound Marmaduke Duke plans to advertise, as all 3 singles are from the explode section of the album. The riffs made by the guitars are quick, powerful, and very unique riffs. One of the hardest things to do in rock music today is to create riffs that don't sound bland and unimaginative. Marmaduke Duke succeeds at creating their own original riffs. As goes for the entire album, most of the songs fall short of the 3 minute mark, which works well for the band. Most songs contain only a few musical ideas and due to the length of the songs they don't tire or get repetitive.
The standout track on the explode section is The Kill and the Kure. The song opens with guitar playing a syncopated rhythmic pattern. Drums and bass enter accompanying the guitar rhythm, and screaming vocals come across. Quickly, the riff changes along with the vocals. The riff goes to a scale pattern based on the chord changes, while the vocals are sung cleanly. The drumming is aggressive and adds liveliness to the song. Then the screaming comes only saying "Gigigigow gigigigigow." All these riffs are switched on and off with screaming and singing vocals are traded off. The song format is difficult to follow and doesn't quite follow a normal song format. The main instrumental theme is the rhythmic pattern shown in the intro along with the scale pattern. All in all, the song is aggressive, upbeat, and energetic, as is the rest of the explode section.
As implode is the opposite of explode, the music in the implode section is the opposite of the explode section. Every song on the implode section is entirely acoustic, showing a definite talent in Marmaduke Duke to create more than one style of music. Multiple guitars are often tracked on the songs, and the vocals are entirely clean. The song formats are much simpler, usually a ABABCB format or something similar to that. The great thing about the songs here is that the verse often transitions almost unnoticed into the chorus. There are no awkward pauses or needless chord buildup. The chords and strumming patterns are nothing special, but the progressions are not a typical I-IV-V. A sitar makes an appearance on a few songs, and adds a new dimension to the songs, often creating a countermelody to the guitar line.
The best acoustic song is The Egyptian and The Imposter. Of course, as the title would suggest, it opens with an Egyptian sounding sitar line. The rest of the band comes in on an offbeat pickup. The sitar drops out and guitars stay on the same progression while the vocals come in, the best on the album. Vocal harmonies are created in the chorus, and for only two people the harmonies are very well done. The harmonies repeat the line "I've said it all." The two singers trade off verses, and both show that their voices are adequate for the music. After 2 verses and choruses, the song enters a short instrumental outro. The chord progression ascends up the scale and if the song were extended, the progression would probably gain more and more energy to a climax. Sadly, the song ends after only two hearings of the riff.
The corrode section of the album is an entirely instrumental section and the most experimental of the three. Most songs contain a distorted bass and allow Simon Neil to show off his MIDI keyboard. Also worth noting in the corrode section is the use of more abstract percussive instruments. The songs go off without any real repetition, but more of variations on the themes introduced in the beginnings of the songs. The songs gain more and more energy throughout, showing a slight bit of prog influence on the band members. Despite the experimentation going on in this section, it is the most forgettable of the three and most of the songs sound similar if it weren't for the use of different percussive instruments.
The standout, however, would be Paul and Alexander. It is the longest song on the album, although only at 3:29. The song opens with a distorted bassline. The bassline is simple yet dark and brooding. Some sort of bell-like instrument enters to create a groove in the song. After a few times through the riff, another layer of bass adds on top and accents from more percussive instruments can be heard in the background. A shaker adds in, shaking on every 8th note. The rim shots in the background drops out and another hit adds in playing on 1, the and of 2, and 4. The song continues to trade around with these instruments, with the bassline playing underneath in the whole song.
With The Magnificent Duke, Marmaduke Duke creates an album with 3 distinct styles, all of which are very well orchestrated and extremely fun to listen to. New recordings show that their second album moves to a whole new style, a sort of funk-dance style. The two members of Marmaduke Duke have quite vivid imaginations and know how to make the music fun and still have a virtuosic quality about it.
The Kill and the Kure
The Egyptian and The Imposter
Paul and Alexander