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Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Hardly Art

The Pacific Northwest-based trio Dude York hit the punk-pop jackpot with their 2017 album Sincerely. They added bassist/vocalist Claire England to the lineup, added some punch to their sound, and wrote a batch of songs that hit the sweet spot between heartache and joy, soundtracked by giddy voices and riffy guitars. It was a fine formula and it didn't need to change for them to make another strong record. Things did change, though, and on 2019's Falling the group tweak their style in ways big and small, while ultimately proving equally impressive in the end. Maybe even a little more satisfying. The biggest alteration was having England write and sing half the songs. She provided two of the highlights on Sincerely, adding some open-hearted sincerity and big hooks to the mix. She does the same here, and her half of the record is stadium-sized emo pop, full of earnest lyrics about falling in and out of love, sky-scraping guitars, and her brightly hued vocals. Her contributions -- like the hard-charging "I'm the 1 4 U" and "Unexpected," or the insistent "Let Down" -- are brimming with energy and have a joyous sense of freedom that comes through in her vocals and the rippling guitar and power-packed drumming. On the flip side, it sounds like guitarist Peter Richards had a rough stretch in between records. His songs are heartbroken and desperate, with the guitars dialed down and subtle keyboards added. His vocals are one tear-stained step past melancholy, and even the addition of England's harmonies can't break through the gloom. The combination of quietly layered arrangements and super-sad lyrics mean that his half is way less Weezer and much more Cure-inspired. Many of the songs capture the same resigned and beautiful melancholy that permeates the mid-period work of Shout Out Louds. His melodies and vocals take on the weight that England's have cast off; tracks like "Only Wish" and the Ramones-quoting "How It Goes" are dark, and the title of "Doesn't Matter" provides a solid clue as to his state of mind. Dude York prove just as adept at these more subdued and sad songs as they do at the up-tempo rockers, and the blending of the two styles and tones makes for a fascinating record. It's certainly more complicated, both musically and emotionally, and shows the band growing in interesting ways. The cut and paste of wildly different moods and sounds might cause the group to split in two in the future, but on Falling the bond holds tight. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2019 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2018 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 24, 2017 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 24, 2017 | Hardly Art

Seattle trio Dude York started off as a scuffed-up, home-recorded indie rock band with a love of '90s alt-rock and have slowly progressed from their humble beginnings to the kind of band that records in a real studio with a big-name producer. Their third album, Sincerely, was made with the help of co-producers Cody Votolato (of Blood Brothers fame) and John Goodmanson, whose résumé includes Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill, among many others. It was also their first record to be made with all three members' input in the writing process, and features bassist Claire England on lead vocals on two songs she wrote. This approach results in their biggest-sounding, most impressive record yet, something that nearly creeps up on the best work of their heroes like Weezer and Built to Spill. They share a bunch with those two bands: snappy hooks, supercharged guitar riffs, singalong choruses, and laconic vocals. In fact, now that the band has finally been clearly recorded, you can't miss how much Peter Richards' voice and phrasing match those of Rivers Cuomo. It's not exactly uncanny valley territory, but Richards has surely worn out a copy or two of Pinkerton along the way. Dude York's obvious love of Weezer and the '90s sound they epitomize could have been a problem if they didn't write great songs and play them with passion and fire. Tracks like "Something in the Way" and "Life Worth Living" have monster choruses the likes of which Weezer wish they could still write; the uptempo rockers like "Paralyzed" and "Bit Saloon" or "Twin Moons," which alternates between a sweet ballad and loping rocker, with a weird prog interlude along the way. Or one of England's songs, "Love Is," which shows she's also familiar with the works of Mr. Cuomo and just as good at putting a scrappy spin on them as Richards is. "Tonight," her other song, might be the sneaky, fist-pumping highlight of the album. The only stumble is the album-ending acoustic ballad "Time's Not on My Side," not because it's bad, but because another wall-shaking rocker or smile-inducing pop song would have been a better way to finish. Still, that's a tiny little issue that does nothing to dim the brightness of the rest of Sincerely. It's a great modern rock album that's indebted to the past but not tied to it. Dude York have come a long way and judging by this album, they've arrived. ~ Tim Sendra

Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2017 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2017 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 9, 2018 | Hardly Art

Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2016 | Hardly Art

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