Albo Dukes

Album Title: 
Time To Hit The Big One
Release Date: 
Friday, April 25, 2014
Review Type: info supplied with the promo copy we got of this album, so all I got to go on was whatever info I could find on the “net”...which isn't that much either (in fact, much of the info gathered below comes from already published reviews I found)!

Hailing from Antwerp, the band is based around singer/ guitarist Chris Van Nauw, renowned Belgian session musician whom earned his spurs with the likes of Soulsister, Paul Michiels, Boogie Boy, Supremacy, and Udo. He also has an acoustic act: with which he goes through several musical straits, from Pop to Rock 'n' Roll, and from Classic Rock to Blues, he'll bring you acoustic re-arrangements of songs by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Lauper, and Robben Ford, but also of Kiss, Pink Floyd, and other usually “harder” acts.

As Albo Dukes (which was started some 4 years ago), he and his mates Jerry Vingerhoed (bass) and Sam Versmissen (drums) have been working up a rather positive reputation as party starters, showing off their love for the Classic Rock of the '70s and '80s. At this point, I would like to share with you a rather ludicrous review written by one W. Keersbergen, which the band actually uses as an introduction to themselves on their own (www.) : “Is there a connection between a musician's soul and the increasing ball's size of of the audience? Could it be the other way around? Both are true when a band like Albo Dukes hhits the right chords and makes you go crazy! The Albo Dukes have more stage experience than La Estrella, more gut feeling than Shakira and a more vivid life experience than Arno's grandma. Their radiating stage presence is for sure a reason to add the Albo Dukes to your “must see” list! ... Albo Dukes are the obvious choice because they deal uncut Rock music. Quality generated by years of experience: legitimate, instant and efficient. Albo Dukes deliver the pure guitar stuff that rages through your body like a derailed train, electrifying your brain and leaving you smouldering for days after! … The Albo Dukes are the uppercut you would voluntarily bear. Hit me baby one more time? Just for starters...”!

Hum...sounds like a review I might've written myself when I was younger, só much younger than today...but those were pre-Internet days (at least for me, you know), and so humour was often the only thing which brightened up our reviews. Now...although a lot of the above is pure inventive writing, I have to admit that the Blues Rock based Classic Rock tunes of this trio is quite effective indeed. With a backbone of relatively simple riffs, the Hard Rock of the guys is embellished by several solo guitar overdubs, which are truly memorable. And I can certainly see how that type of music could set aflame a mixed audience including also people who were already around in the days when this type of music was first still fresh and innovating. The couple of reviews I read also speak highly of Van Nauw's vocals, but personally I am nót that impressed. In fact, I've found his voice to be rather unilateral and, unavoidably, boring in the end. Weird then, that he hàs the capacity to veer away from being that unilateral, as proven by his slightly different styling on the one cover on the album, Bruce Springsteen's “I'm on Fire”. That track, along with the instrumental “Surfpin” is really the best on the album. Small remark: the instrumental would be the album's closer, as there's also a “bonus track”...but I wonder whàt's so bonus about that extra track, when you're only delivering the album in that one form...unless the pay-for-download does nót include that track, of course!?

Well, this one I leave up to yourselves. Go check out the couple of songs/ videos posted in the “Media” section of the band's website (mentioned above)...more audio is available at (http://) (note: “Horizontal Healing” and “Loud, Loud, Loud” are nót featured on the album. Obviously, the vocal quality of the album influences my rating of it, in spite of my liking the music very much indeed.