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7 out of 10
Another triumph, not exactly for Grand Duchy's music, but for Frank Black's writing in the PR blurb, this time entertaining us with a slightly rambling, but very sweet, recollection of how he and his wife, Violet Clark, ended up making music together as Grand Duchy. Well, I say entertaining 'us'. It made me chuckle. I suppose you'll have to make do with the music.
The first two tracks on this EP fit well together as a sort of call and response combination. Lovesick starts us off with Violet singing about missing her man ("You're out of reach, I'm in the USA") over a fairly poppy guitar and synth line. I'm of a mind that it wouldn't sound out of place on a Dandy Warhols phone advert, especially the sampled telephone 'conversation' towards the end, but I don't think that's a particularly good thing. Frank then responds on Vapors by telling us he's still thinking about his lady, though slightly dirtier ("I'm putting you in my favourite scenes of love"). For some reason, he chooses to do this to the accompaniment of processed guitars and a basic drum machine loop which keeps breaking out into some Middle Eastern belly dance disco.
The Timbers is more guitar mixed with programmed beats, and as a mostly instrumental track I suppose it's the obvious way to close the EP. An amusing little curio, which will no doubt be snapped up by Black's more ardent supporters, but probably won't draw in anyone who doesn't already have the album.
3. The Timbers