IT was once proclaimed by a certain Dundonian indie outfit that “you’d be amazed at what you can achieve in a year” and it is safe to say that this statement rings true when levelled in the direction of The Dunts.
From humble beginnings in September of last year as yet another four piece jostling for position and their own piece of territory within Glasgow’s continually blossoming music scene to maintaining a vast, impassioned fanbase of their own, it’s only fitting that the band were down in London to perform their first show in the UK capital when their debut EP Not Working Is Class arrived at midnight.
Steeped in the city’s near-mythological reputation for hedonism and expressed through a series of all too real characters. the first release from this ambitious young outfit is one that doesn’t merely ask for your attention but grips you by the hair and demands it.
Beginning with a maelstrom of electrfying punk rock noise that is indicative of the potency that can be expected throughout, ‘Tommy’ details the plight of a routinely wayward friend and a night gone monumentally awry. A riveting number that brims with the insatiable guitar-based energy of The Skids or Dead Kennedys in their pomp, its most notable trait lies in how the frenetic tempo and effects-laden tangents effectively mirrors the ludicrousness of the situation that’s detailed in its snappy run-time.
The track that heralded the dawning of this exciting new phase in the band’s career, ‘Coalition Of Chaos’ sees the band set aside the revelry that they’re most known for in favour of a discontented diatribe against the rising tide of inequality in Britain. An act of defiance to the culture of hatred that’s given credence under the rule of the Tories and the DUP, it is a track fuelled by blistering guitars and equally pervading drums that set the scene for the band’s vibrant take on the storied tradition of the protest song. With the whole project overseen by Johnny Madden and Chris Marshall, it is a move that appears to have established an exploratory in the mindset in the band and has given them the confidence to dispense with the dischord for moments of cohernece and clarity. A thoughtful and propulsive rebuttal to a government informed by intolerance, it would be easy to categorise the band’s lyrical bent as a product of a rough-and-tumble enviroment but this is not the only moment in which they prove themselves to be far more naunced and contemplative than many would be willing to give them credit for.
Clocking in at just over two minutes, ‘Hampden Cabs’ is another frantic trip through a night of misadventure that details the experience of being saddled with the most insufferable person in the vicinity as they wear away at your sanity with one mundane anecdote after another. A track that wears its influences from the past 10 years of guitar music on its sleeve, it displays that they certainly know their way around a rollicking slice of indie that is intended to whip people into a frenzy and it’s sure to be the cause of a great deal of commotion when performed at high volume.
Just when you start to wonder what could be sent careening towards you, the band save the best for last in the form of the discombobulating ‘Dimitri.’
Usually reserved as the domain of the psychedelic, naval gazing side of the musical universe, the Glasgow-based outfit’s latest work conveys the unstable footpath between unbridled bliss and abject horror that mind altering substances can place you on alongside a backdrop of seething riffs and imposing vocals. Eschewing the non-confrontational vocabulary that usually paints the experience as producing a life-affirming epiphany a minute and instead focusing on the uneasy pursuit of escapism that is so vividly detailed in Hunter S Thompson’s work, ‘Dimitri’ (likely a thinly veiled reference to the hallucinogenic DMT) revels in its own guitar laden fervour and disorder to produce something that evinces the ambitiousness that’s developed in their collective headspace.
Undoubtedly the high watermark of the EP, it proves that there’s something inherently special residing in their shared alchemy that they must harness and nurture if they are to reach their lofty potential.
More than just a testament to the fertile enviroment that they’ve sprouted from, The Dunts’ debut EP should not be used as a demonstration of how good ‘our scene’ is but should be viewed on the basis of its own considerable merits. For those with any preconceptions about them just being ‘another garage rock band from Glasgow’, it’s hard to imagine that anyone who’d willingly part with these biases in order consume this body of work objectively would be able to deny that there’s not only ambition but a rampant sense of ingenuity exuding from it.
An engaging and thought-provoking opening volley, it’s safe to say that there’ll be many eyes fixated on their next move as they head into 2018.