If The Munsters theme song proved that you can use surf rock to write an eerie tune, D.U.D.S. groovily reminds us once again, just to be sure.
Arriving in time for Halloween, the six-piece outfit from Manchester released their latest album Immediate on October 18, and begin their album with the rolling cacophony of “Type.” At less than two and a half minutes long, the tune concisely says — without rushing — all you need to know about D.U.D.S., which is that you can’t accurately predict what catchy, sinister licks you’ll hear next or when they will end.
It took numerous attentive listens before I realized this isn’t an instrumental track. Halfway through, there are some low, indecipherable Clash-style vocals that slink out just as mysteriously as they fade in. The lull of the bass line and tom-heavy drum beat are offset by the brightness of the brass section and stitched together by hooky, repetitive guitar riffs and dissonant harmonies.
What makes this tune sound so creepy is the horns’ tritone chord motif. The tritone (or, the “Devil’s Interval”) is a chord with three whole steps between them (or, six half steps). It can sound demonic — in this context, that’s a compliment — and the bright brassy repetition makes this song sound like Madness teaming up with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to write a song for their Halloween party.
This isn’t the kind of song I would normally seek out, but it is the kind of song that you’re thankful falls into your lap at the opportune seasonal moment. After hearing “Thriller,” “This is Halloween,” and every cover of “Monster Mash” on the radio throughout October, “Type” feels refreshing and fun.
D.U.D.S. singer/ guitarist Giulio Erasmus jokingly compared their sound to “a Slinky rolling down the stairs” and I respectfully disagree. It’s more like a Slinky rolling down the stairs of a creepy funhouse.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.