Duchess Says In A Fung DAY T!

For a minute, it seemed like Montreal's Duchess Says were going to break through in a major way: critical acclaim, a charismatic frontwoman, in Annie-Claude Deschênes, dance beats and high-profile production offers suggested they were going to be Canada's great white hope for dance punk. But the group weren't playing that game and by the time they released their debut full-length three years ago, the dance punk ship had sailed. In retrospect, it was a smart move, as Duchess Says never really fit the descriptor anyway. They've released little material since and In A Fung DAY T! surprisingly doesn't differ much from their debut. But its influences are more apparent, as if this is our second chance to "get" what the quartet are all about: '80s goth-inspired bass, John Carpenter synths and a commitment to confrontational noise throughout. That last aspect is best experienced live, where the crew shine, but the band's recordings have always done a great job of capturing that live energy. The mysterious Church of Budgerigars (whose doctrines supposedly inspired the band's music) is once again well represented on this eclectic collection of recordings. Second time out, Duchess Says have lost none of their abrasive charm, nor their stubborn need to confound their fans. (Alien8)