DUCKS Ltd – ” Get Bleak “

Posted: January 9, 2022 in MUSIC

Ducks Ltd. — formerly Ducks Unlimited — have an unapologetic love of ’80s jangle-pop, and they have done their homework as far as that niche goes. The duo geeks out over underrated Reagan-era acts like Close Lobsters, McCarthy, the Clean, the Bats, and anything else on New Zealand’s Flying Nun roster. But that isn’t to say Tom McGreevy and Evan Lewis are carbon copies — Ducks Ltd. put their own spin on a classic sound, most recently heard on their chiming (and charming) debut album, “Modern Fiction”, which is clearly inspired by classics like the Feelies and the Go-Betweens but also pulls from more modern indie staples such as Real Estate and Beach Fossils. They’re a valuable addition to the canon.

Toronto duo Ducks Ltd are clearly inspired by bookish ’80s UK guitar indie, and while they might agree that shyness is nice, there is nothing wimpy about their debut album. “Modern Fiction” is endlessly hooky janglepop played with gusto, conviction, and wit. They may promise never to break hearts but the same cannot be said of guitar strings.

With standout releases by artists ranging from Jane Inc. to Bernice to PACKS, 2021 has found Toronto’s indie rock underground emerging as one of the most interesting, sonically cohesive music scenes in North America. Ducks Ltd., are a duo comprised of guitarists Evan Lewis and Tom Mcgreevy, play into the musical tropes of their Canadian hometown, while simultaneously paying homage to ‘80s New Zealand punk. Get Bleakan expanded reissue of the band’s 2019 EP, surges with the sounds of Flying Nun artists like The Bats, The Chills, and The Clean.

Twee song writing is framed by minimal production and laidback melodies. “Gleaming Spires” and the EP’s title track wouldn’t sound out of place in a surfing compilation, but more driving cuts like “Oblivion” and “Anhedonia” show that Ducks Ltd. aren’t hung up on tropical pleasantries. As someone who came of age in the heyday of Captured Tracks’ nostalgia revival, putting on Get Bleak makes me wistful for my youth, but the record never plays like a feigned antiquity

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