Killers on the Dance Floor
(Oi! The Boat)
Philly’s mighty mod warriors are back! Duffy’s Cut swept the punk world with their debut; a fiery, hip-shaking rock and roll 12”. Then, they brutally teased us with only one track last year on a split with Idle Gossip. Well, the wait is over. The Hammond is warm, dancing shoes are laced tightly. The whiskey has been poured. Killers on the Dance Floor challenges all you stuff armed tough guys to submit to your roots and get sweaty!
Killers is harder, heavy and charged, and catchy as ever. The opener, “Feeling Alright”, is a boiler. It builds and explodes in frantic energy. As the organ simmers, we move to the title track, a demonic scorcher. This is a powerful rocker, with spots for each instrument to stand out as the tease before the breakdown (that bass!) and then a forceful sprint to the end. “She Don’t Dance” is centered around a killer bass line. This is downbeat fury! This track embraces a dirty tone that pushes. “The Long Con” steps back on tempo, a catchy, punchy track which seduces the listener. Nice to hear the organ get so much room to play here. “Strawberry Mansion Nights” builds sweetly. The foreboding pounding backbeat mesmerizes as the guitars and organ build anticipation. Fiery vocals come in and stir a sweltering fever. The lyrics are challenging, dark.
First two tracks of B side are less jam based or indulgent, getting down to business. “Fade to Olive Drab” kicks. This with the aptly titled, “Keep It Moving”, have strong bass lines. The both push, fast and engrossing. The social lyrics of “Fade to Olive Drab” make a working man think. “The Judge” has us return to a mid-tempo head bobber. This is infectious rider, bopping along with a low down sound. “99” has a more flamboyant beat, a slow plod that bounces. It’s a re-interpretation of the Wilson Pickett/Eddie Floyd classic, maybe. The sound is different. The tempo is down, and really only the one lyric line is the same. Mavis Staples, CCR, Don Preston, Detroit Cobras, and more have all covered this classic. This is more of a sparked tangent than a cover. It’s fun. Duffy’s close side B with bluesy ode to the working man again. It’s a sharp upbeat charmer. The guitar lead is fun, as they often refrain.
The mix sits the guitar dangling over solid rhythms and the ever-looming organ. Dropping the needle on this LP transmits you directly into a claustrophobic rehearsal space. You can feel the bodies gyrating around you, the beer spilling, the feedback ringing. I have seen this band three times, and always in a packed bar venue. Killers on the Dance Floor’s recording champions the band’s live sound. Duffy’s Cut knows when to use gang vocals and get their audience primed for sing alongs. The speakers ooze sweat and energy. Duffy’s frenetic pride of reviving the mod and British Invasion, without the delicate tendencies, focuses on pushing the RnB factor. This 2017 interpretation is welcome and invigorating.
RIYL: 45 Adapters, Suede Razors, The Who, Young Rascals, Yardbirds, Them, Small Faces, Standells, Adjusters, Gas Huffer, Supersuckers, The Bomboras, Boss Martians