Published Oct 14, 2016Some comebacks are expected (see LCD Soundsystem, Sleater-Kinney); some just come right out of the blue. It's the latter case with Winnipeg twosome Duotang.
After going on hiatus in 2001, Sean Allum and Rod Slaughter dusted off their drums and bass and returned a few years later to play some shows, then quietly began working on new music in 2014. New Occupation is their fourth album and first in 15 years — this time for a new label, Stomp, after releasing their first three on Mint.
Longtime fans will rejoice in the duo's decision to pick up where they left off with 2001's The Bright Side, but a pleasant surprise comes in how New Occupation also breaks new ground for the band. Allum and Slaughter have loaded up their angular mod-pop with a bigger punch and more urgency than their previous releases. There's some deeply acerbic bite, in the deceivingly buoyant "Karma Needs to Come Around" and the horn-led title track, that was usually sporadic in the past; this time, there's a consistent sprinkling of it.
Duotang might not receive the same consideration as some of the more higher profile reunions, but there's something to be said for coming back after all that time with a new album as sharp and accomplished as New Occupation. (Stomp)