It is surprisingly difficult to find a classification which accurately describes London based female-fronted punk troupe THE DUEL. There may be barefaced leanings towards the new wave punk of the late 70s and early 80s present in their progressive guitar tones and the occasional synth-filled moments, yet the quintet inject the music with more modern undertones which propel the music straight up to the present day.
Tracks such as ‘You Can Do It’ and ‘Love Me Do’ twist the traditionalist punk formula into something truly contemporary; the latter in particular providing a layer of distortion over a candidly generic punk structure, providing an extra layer of menace which adeptly compliments the overall sound. The keyboards on ‘Fake Like You Do’ more than hint at avant-garde rock, remaining relevant through the unyielding bleary distortion.
As the record concludes, the final two tracks do little to develop the intonation; ‘Splash On You’ experiments with male vocals with some success, however the inclusion of the song feels entirely unnecessary – distracting from the complete album structure rather than adding variety. Similarly, the closing track meanders at a frustrating pace for a lengthy six minutes, yet will undoubtedly appease fans of the shoegaze or noise-pop movement.
Although ending on a low note, the majority of ‘Soundtrack to the End of the World’ is excellent enough to forgive the occasional moment of complacency. Neither sounding like a current punk band nor an imitation seventies outfit, THE DUEL present themselves as a punk band that the avant-garde movement may have predicted music to become.