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The Duel - 'Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story)' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fb/16/77/3089_TheDuelSoundtracktotheEndoftheWorldTheZakSplashStory_1356319654.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 24, 2012    
 
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Album number four from Cockney punk upstarts The Duel.

Album number four from Cockney punk upstarts The Duel is their most ambitious yet as track one turns out to be a 42 minute concept piece ‘The Zak Splash Story’. It tells the tale, entertainingly narrated by Max Splodge (who some of you may remember had a punk hit with ‘Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please’ thirty odd years ago), of pop star Zak and his inseparable girlfriend who spiral into heroin addiction only for her to OD leaving him heartbroken. Zak, his career gone, then lives on the streets as a junkie hoping every day that his world would end only to be hauled out of the gutter by a former fan who resurrects his career. But just as Zak’s life is back on top World War III breaks out and his world does end! It’s all very melodramatic I know and decidedly tongue in cheek but it makes you think to be careful what you wish for doesn’t it?

As a concept piece it really lacks musical and lyrical depth for me and comes across more as a collection of songs stitched together by some clever narration. And when you get towards the end of the 42 minute marathon and Tia Rez is endlessly singing the refrain ‘What You Gonna Do When The Fire Goes Out’ I felt like shouting “I know what I’m gonna do – I’m gonna haul this disc out of my CD player and chuck it out of the bloody window if you don’t shut up!”.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The remaining eight tracks turn out to be those featured in ‘The Zak Splash Story’ only this time stripped of Slodge’s ‘You Were Only Supposed To Blow The Bloody Doors Off’ Cockney narration. And funnily enough you start to see them in a whole new light. What you now have is a fine collection of exuberant, acerbic new wave/post punk anthems where the Blondie-esque ‘You Can Do It’; the strident tones of ‘Invincible’ and ‘Less Everyday’; the lively ‘Love Me Do’ and the new wave pop of ‘Splash On You’ just seem to take on a life of their own. Hell even the emotive ‘When The Fire Goes Out’ seems more bearable. Mind you my review copy cut the song short by two minutes so that might be why!

In true football pundit style, this album is definitely a game of two halves!

Alister Strachan

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