Back in 2005, tastemakers pegged the coed quintet The Duke Spirit as the U.K.’s next big indie export. Things didn’t quite work out that way — but that’s only driven the band to return with a stronger sophomore effort on Neptune. At times they bolster their bluesy garage-rock assault with powerful brass bursts (”Lassoo”). Yet the best tracks find the group focusing its fury into a quieter, more gripping form, allowing lead singer Liela Moss’ bruised voice to play off spare piano and guitar arrangements. Here’s hoping such gutsiness will finally result in the triumph of this Spirit. B+
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”My Sunken Treasure” and other tracks from Neptune on The Duke Spirit’s Myspace page

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