All at Once, a Blazing Introduction
No matter how long a band has been in existence, and no matter how many singles it's released in that time, the lead track on its debut full-length carries with it the psychic weight of an opening statement. It's the last chance to make a first impression. The Duke Spirit has been around in one form or another since 2002, having released two solid handfuls of EPs in its native Britain before the driving full-length Cuts Across the Land appeared — and a world that, for now, still considers albums the only respectable format officially welcomed the band into being.
As introductions go, "Cuts Across The Land" is a strong one. After a thumping count-off, every element of the band's sound — two guitars, bass, drums, vocals — comes in at once. Everybody's in it together, nobody's left behind, and the impermeable density of the song comes not from a thicket of noise but from the way that each instrument is fused to the others. It's the sound of five different noisemakers playing essentially the exact same part, presenting The Duke Spirit as a single, unitary creature fueled by its own momentum.
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