Ducking Punches – Alamort

Ducking Punches have made it to full length number 4 and really confirmed their status as a band. Gone are the days of entire acoustic albums that essentially sound like Dan Allen solo songs, and in their place stands a loud, electric folk- punk record. The album cover is a very cool looking skull painted by Dan, complete with sunglasses, but really doesn’t give away what to expect from the album.

The album opens with ‘With Unfounded Hope’ which begins sounding Smith Street Band-esque with Dan’s vocals over some guitar gradually strengthening in volume. By the minute and a half point, however, Dan is trying to scream and while I admire the passion, I don’t really admire the sound. I’m going to be honest, with this song opening up the album I was actually quite worried that I wouldn’t like the album, that sound just isn’t for me, and it isn’t what I listen to Ducking Punches for.

Moving on to the second song “Smoking Spot” the band, at least in my opinion, really find their sound again and though loud, electric and punk it is more Fizzy Brain-esque and they are definitely back. It’s not my favourite song on the album but it is a solid start and grows on me every time I listen to it. The album continues to gain momentum with Missing You Is Killing Me; this song reminds me of the super personal song writing that drew me into Ducking Punches in the first place. The wavey (not a technical term, I know) guitar throughout is super fun and the back up vocalist (not sure who?) sounds like Dallas Green and can seriously hold a note. This song comes to a powerful conclusion with Dan screaming out “missing you is killing me” with serious passion contrasted perfectly by the same lyrics sung softly by the other vocalist; sorry about earlier Dan, I actually quite like your screaming in this one.

The Club With No name and Witches of Valais bring about the mid point of the album in style. The former, an ode to the people and places Dan grew up with contains one of the most catchy lyrics of the album with “here’s what I took from that; its okay to lose, don’t skate the mini ramp with holes in your shoes”. The latter sounds like it could well feature on a Frank Turner album, and that is serious quality in my opinion.

I’m not sure what it is about the second half of the album, but it feels softer and more emotional, closer to Ducking Punches from the Dance Before You Sleep era, even if this isn’t actually evident in the music. The second last song on the album, I Ruin Everything, is by far my favourite song of the album. I’ve never heard Dan’s vocals come through so cleanly and so powerfully; this song really highlights his vocal ability over some super quiet shimmering guitar. As far as I can tell, Dan is singing about a broken relationship that he regrets and the pain he has brought about as he notes “I am the ghost of your pain”. The emotion in the music as well as the lyrics peaks right in the middle the song with the lyric “There are many nights that I’ve wanted to die. Life than merely staying alive” which hits me hard every listen. I’ve heard this song repeat no less than 15 times while I’ve formulated this paragraph and I’m still not sick of it; it could well be my favourite song of the year. The fade out of this song lends itself to the best transition of the album as the final song I Was Uncomfortable fades in slow and quiet as it builds with a minute long intro into more of the loud, punk music we’ve been treated to on the album. The song fits well as it bookends the album with the opener, With Unfounded Hope and rounds out what has been a very enjoyable record.

When I first got into Ducking Punches I think I was really drawn into Dan’s lyrics and singing, I was almost treating them more like a solo act than a band. This album changes that and really cements their position as a very good folk punk band. While I’m not sure any release will live up to Dance Before You Sleep for me, I think the changed sound means they don’t have to, I am able to thoroughly enjoy Ducking Punches newer albums for what they are. Now they just need to get on a plane out to Australia so I can see them live again.


Matt Power
21 February 2018

Full Disclosure

Feeling Fine
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Recent Listening Brian Fallon
How I Listened Sony XBA-3 Headphones

Ducking Punches Alamort

Artist Ducking Punches
Album Alamort
Released 16 February 2018
Label Xtra Mile Recordings
Tracks 11
Run Time 38 minutes
Genre Folk Punk

Ducking Punches Alamort