Monday, 11 August 2014

Album Review: Dance Before You Sleep by Ducking Punches

Dance Before You Sleep is the new album by Norwich folk punk band Ducking Punches released on No Panic Records.

This album definitely swings more to the side of punk than folk and is full of some fantastic sing along anthems. Opening track It’s Been A Bad Few Weeks starts out with just Allen and his acoustic guitar before the rest of the band slowly begin to accompany him on electric and bass guitars, violin and drums. Bass player Sophie Porter also adds some great harmonies throughout a melancholy song about struggling to cope with death. The theme of death continues on the next song Cursed Luck. This is a fist in the air song about living your life to the fullest before the end.

Song number three I Can’t See It Happening This Year is a slightly more aggressive song about being down and out and not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. Dan Allen sums it up perfectly with the closing sentiments of “I know you drove me insane, I swear I can’t take this pain, you said things will get better, but I can’t see it happening this year.”

For me the standout song on Dance Before You Sleep is the fourth track Big Brown Pills From Lynn. This is another sing song anthem about living life to excessively and the effects it had. The song starts slow with just vocals and electric guitar for the first and second verses briefly teasing the full band coming in before getting to the extremely catchy chorus of “we had all the attention, god damn in nearly killed us.” The gang vocals are in full force on this song and sound great.

On track five Potions and Powders and track 9 Six Years Allen strips it back to just acoustic guitar and some violin. Potions and Powders is a break up song telling the story of how a girl tried to end her life after splitting up with her boyfriend. Six Years is an emotional song about a friend he lost.

Feels Like Home is the sixth track on the album and is the most up-tempo song on it. Sergio Tauroza’s violin takes centre stage here is a wonderful addition. The Art Of Falling Short and Why Can’t We Hold It Together are two foot stompers that complete the album of nicely.

Despite the dark subject matter Dance Before You Sleep has something for everyone. For the singer-songwriter fans there are nine fantastically crafted songs with some touching and heartfelt lyrics. For the punk rockers there is opportunity for screaming along and fist pumping a plenty. I was lucky enough to see Ducking Punches in the tiny Brixton Windmill pub earlier this year, I am pleased that I did because it won’t be long before these guys and girl are playing in some much bigger venues. 

You can buy Dance Before You Sleep direct from Ducking Punches here:

Here is Ducking Punches bandcamp page:

Now listening to Six Years by Ducking Punches

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