“Quatro” William Duke
One of the founders of Oakland’s Bye Bye Blackbirds, SF-based William Duke is back with an excellent, mini album (or long EP). The eight tracks showcase Duke’s finely honed talents in producing catchy Tom Petty-like Americana-flavored rock and power-pop, with a mix that also incorporates influences from Big Star to the Beach Boys — and even a little Beatles-like psych-rock in the opener. The melodies are catchy and the harmonies infectious, with a consistency that means there are no weak tracks on the CD. Enjoy!
— Francis D.
Recommended: 1, 2, 8, 6, 3. No FCCs noted.
1. (4:58) Caroline And The Silver Screen — Bright and upbeat guitar rock. Jangly, with chugging bass. Harmonized vocals. Tambourine. Shifts to Beatles-like psych-rock elements with searing guitar starting at 3 1/2 minutes. ****
2. (2:16) Junk #2 — Deliberate, march-like tempo. Chunky guitars. Throwback to the ‘70s, like Big Star. Synth strings in lead break. ***
3. (2:19) Hotels And Meetings — Count in at start. Old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Bouncy, swingy and fun. Great organ. ***
4. (3:15) Hotels End — Softer and dreamier. Shimmering, glimmering synth, organ and guitar. Minimal vocals. Moody feeling.
5. (4:04) Cue Up The Memories — Americana-flavored rock. Strong backbeat, strummed guitar, rich harmonized backing vocals. Jangly guitar in lead break.
6. (3:57) As Good As It Gets — Count in at start. Begins as fingerpicked ballad. Transitions to mid-tempo rock with soaring vocals and harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys. Shakers are a nice touch. ***
7. (3:44) Complications #1 — Big, layered sound. Piano. Organ. Strummed electric guitars. Bass. Solid drums. Handclaps. Full harmonies.
8. (2:46) Thank You — Strummy and jangly. Warm and uplifting vocals, often harmonized. Very affirming feeling. Great closer. ***