Nick Duane is a veteran American, musician and composer who has played with several New England regional acts and has released the solo recordings, ‘Confessions’, ‘When We Said Goodbye’ and ‘Before The Storm’.
He has played guitar and bass with several regional acts. Including; Axis, Backslap Blues Band, Monolith, Section Eight, DC Tenz and Confessions. Being a long time record collector Nick has an appreciation of different styles of music, which might explain such extremes as being one of the founders of the ‘Backslap Blues Band’, to his participation with WBRU Rock Hunt battle of the bands winner, ‘DC Tenz’.
This singer-songwriter has been a long time advocate for original Indie music,
“You make your music regardless of a recording contract or having a live band or any of the arbitrary rules. These days I like to think of writing music as an idea without boundaries, only opportunities”, he says.
Nick Duane’s new album “Before The Storm” is out and it is jam packed with guitars, strings, synthesizers, loops, pianos and special effects and is equally divided between instrumental and vocal tracks.
“Willett Avenue” opens the album at a midtempo crawl, with the music banging out a devious acoustic rhythm and Nick’s vocals snaking through it dreamily. The album’s peaks include the wickedly loopy “Tightrope”, which veers between psych verses and crazy circus chorus parts over a percolating bass and hard nosed rhythm guitar, and “Blabber Mouth”, a bristling dance track led by a nasty, fuzzed-out wah-wah guitar.
“Down To You” pairs nicely with “When We Dream”, to showcase Nick’s motormouth vocals which sound uncannily similar to Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr.
The approach is more refined on “Windmills” and “Whizz”, but still maintains it’s experimental tendencies, and is the album’s best predicator of Nick’s musical future.
“Several Years Away”, “No Wages” and “Rain On Tuesday” beautifully brandishes Nick Duane’s slower, elaborated orchestral arrangements, on an album which is nevertheless dominated by a triumvirate of propulsive rock songs that break up the medium pacing.
“Blink Of An Eye” moves along on the ever present acoustic guitar rhythm, bumping bass, and rolling drumbeat. “Butterfly” is a dissonant epic of collapsing reverb and recurring keyboard rhythms under a harmonic vocal delivery. While the Teutonic and chaotic electric guitar interchanges and overlays of “Before The Storm” make a strange mix, but work nicely under Duane’s twitchy singing.
Nick Duane’s “Before The Storm” album is hard to pin down in any one musical genre. As Nick moves from guitar-based rock to orchestrated keyboard electronica from one track to another. So it’s like a hybrid mix, between early Roxy Music and latter day Simple Minds. Or more precisely Phil Manzanera meets Jim Kerr in Wyoming…
“Before The Storm”…that is!
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