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Duvall - Volume & Density (Cover Artwork)

Duvall

Duvall: Volume & DensityVolume & Density (2003)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've come to the conclusion that I don't care what Josh Caterer sings about, as long as the man just keeps singing. So many people get up in arms when discussing the former Smoking Popes-frontman's new band Duvall, due to the largely Christian influence in the lyrics [and that's being kind]. Cater.


I've come to the conclusion that I don't care what Josh Caterer sings about, as long as the man just keeps singing. So many people get up in arms when discussing the former Smoking Popes-frontman's new band Duvall, due to the largely Christian influence in the lyrics [and that's being kind]. Caterer has discovered what he deems to be his savior; why do people have a problem with him wanting to praise him? It's no different than bands writing all their songs about girls or about the government - it's just one more topic to discuss. Duvall will not make you convert to Christianity to listen to them, nor will they preach to you at a live show. Duvall simply exists as a vehicle for Josh Caterer to write amazing songs about a topic he holds dear to him - God.

Volume & Density is the eagerly anticipated full-length debut from Duvall, 3 EPs in the making. While I have loved everything Duvall has done up until this point, I wasn't prepared at all for just how wonderful this CD was going to be. From the moment Caterer sings "Don't let your love be wasted on me / I'm no good at all" in opening track "All In Your Hands" until the last refrain of "Jesus never leaves me / what more do I need?", Caterer's stunningly beautiful tenor keeps you riveted to the speakers.

Oh yeah, the music is wonderful, too. New drummer Rob Kellenberger [formerly/currently of roughly every Chicago band ever] really brings a new dynamic to the band - Mike Felumlee could play with the best of them, but he was more-or-less a one trick pony. Kellenberger uses his considerable jazz chops [evidenced in his other band, Colossal] to really propel these otherwise by-the-books pop-punk numbers to a whole new level. His backing vocals are also a welcome addition to the group.

Josh's brother Eli [also formerly of the Smoking Popes] holds down the low end on this recording rather admirably. He doesn't get all fancy, just plays what needs to be played and lets Josh shine. Josh's guitar licks have gotten better since his days in the Popes, and so has his songwriting. I loved the Popes as much as anyone, but those times are over, and I honestly believe Duvall is a better band.

The album is chock full of standouts, from the bouncy "Way Deep Inside" to the groove-oriented "What It Is" to the surefire-Q101 single "Racine," but the real high point is in the 6/8 ballad "Taking Me Home." This track is nothing but sheer emotion and beauty, and it is easily the indie rock wedding song of choice for the next year [just like Jimmy Eat World's "Hear You Me" was a few years ago]. Hearing Caterer moan "You're taking me home / you're taking me home / you're taking me hoooooooome" over and over really gives you goosebumps. It's always hard to pick out one diamond that shines brighter than the other 11, but if I had to, this would be it.

The only downside to the album is that 1/4 of it is already released. The band included the same versions of both "Racine" and their cover of Spandau Ballet's "True" from their "Racine" CD/7" earlier this year, as well as a re-recorded version of "Standing At The Door" from the 2001 EP of the same name [review]. While all three of these songs are wonderful examples of Duvall's melodicism and inherent catchiness, it takes away a bit from the shine of the disc, as any real fan of the band will already own these three tracks.

This tiny fault is really all that keeps this disc from receiving a perfect score. The songs are beautifully crafted, the lyrics deep and personal, the band wholly original. Duvall is here to stay, and to that I say praise the lord.

MP3s
All In Your Hands
Way Deep Inside

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 17, 2006)

P.S. I tried to go retro a few months ago, my old skate rat days back in the late 80's and it was painful. Agent Orange, GHB, Black Flag, Fugazi, Bad Brains, Sex Pistols, Political Image Limited, could go on and on and on. How did I spin that crap and keep my puffy walkman headphones on my ears? I lost several db's of my hearing to that fodder? The only thing I could stomach: The Replacments - Please to meet me. Youth, gotta love it.

Anonymous (February 17, 2006)

No kidding, my unoriginal college CD collection consisted of a few front liners like Pearl Jam (Christians suck), Live (Buddhist rule, Christians suck), Soundgarden (Christians are losers), Jane's Addiction (you mean you're a Christian?) Manson (Christians suck, Satan rules), Tool (Christians, Jesus and God suck), Pumpkins (I'm Billy, I'm a genius, Christians are idiots), need I go on? Christians are taking over the galaxy, political elections??? HUH???? You've been watching too many X-Files dude. I'd say 99% of the music world has a clear mantra of "Christians suck," but Duvall comes out of nowhere, brings it and means it, so it comes out genuine and powerful. Dude, loosen up, the agnostic music world is safe and secure, no worries. So is the "it's cool to be Buddhist/Hindu/Kabala" but I still like to use dope, get laid and light hotels on fire so the band scene will pretty much be like it was for our parents, us and our children....Duvall and POD won't likely pull of a coup'de'ta. Be a little more open minded, ay? What, the last 20 years has produced maybe 5 Christian bands we can even name? Striper (nufsed), Jars of Clay (suck), POD (solid), Switchfoot (medium rare), crap, I don't know, maybe that's it?!? Duvall is solid, rocks, good stuff, better than Popes PERIOD! Buy them ALL, I even got the Christmas one couldn't believe it was so good, not like the Beach Boys/Mariah Carry/Insert Band Here examples of Christmas EPs. I never get tired of it V&D, run it regularly on my iPod while riding the L in Chitown trying to look cool and not the 33 year old dude that I am. My Popes files barely get spun now, nufsed!

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Christianity is ruining America, in case you all hadn't payed attention to this years election, and one thing we DON'T need is another voice in the artistic community talking about how great god is. god won't save you from poverty. god won't save you from abuse. god won't bring peace to anybody. Organized religion has killed a fuckload more people than terrorism ever will. Use your talent to address real problems, or better yet, real solutions, not a fucking fairytale.

Anonymous (November 24, 2003)

So wait, what was that part about Mike Felumlee again?

Anonymous (November 24, 2003)

this could just be me, but it seems like if people determine their opinion of a band before they found out about their convictions, religious or otherwise, they don't really mind. but if they find out about the convictions first, it really influences their opinion. for instance, no one seems to have a problem w/ a band like norma jean being christians, and i think it's because people made up their minds about the band before they knew that. but if people find out a band is something before they hear them, they let that affect their opinion of the band. which kind of sucks. the music should speak for itself. and i'm not saying that lyrics aren't important, because they are. but if they're well-written, i don't think it really matters what they're about.

Greenvandal (November 23, 2003)

Nope...no dude, I dont think anyone thought that at all.

Nice to see that your taking the initiative to make fun of those bands though. Although you should really try making fun of them in posts that are FUCKING RELEVANT TO THEM.

Im so sick of these shit ass bands getting bashed. I know they suck (boy oh boy do I know they suck), ok? Bu8t it has been driven down the emo masses throats enough. they arent listening.

Thats my hypothesis.

And my conclusion is that you should shut the fuck up.

The originality of some people on this site simply blinds my senses...

and Jesus sucks alot. Music is half lyrical to me. So this band has just struck out. but I dont hate them or anything, just cant listen to what I dont feel.

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

Some of you people suck, you probably wish that bands would just singing (or should i say scream) about girlz and use hip-hop slang. Dood, GC is so deep, NFG 4EVA.

Have fun with your Simple Plan records, Duvall will be here when you get a clue.

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

"Yer not making Jesus any better, you're
just making Rock n' Roll worse."

Hank Hill

4131

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who strongly disagees with the whole Mike Felumlee is a one trick pony comment!

WTF?

Sciulli (November 21, 2003)

this site would rip to shreds some bands if they sang about God. Yea, a little bit of a double standard. Not saying Duvall is bad, I'm definitely gonna check them out, but YA KNOW.

Anonymous (November 20, 2003)

q101 sucks dick man.

Anonymous (November 20, 2003)

LAME

good songwriters getting ruined by jesus sucks

Anonymous (November 20, 2003)

"i really don't understand why christianity makes people so uncomfortable when it comes to music. i totally agree with the review - how is it different than singing about anything else? it's not like he's singing "believe in jesus or you'll burn in hell." and to dismiss music just because of the artist's faith is ignorant. i'm sure lots of people who dismiss christian bands without a listen would be furious if people disregarded a band that had a homosexual member. i really don't understand why there is so little tolerance for christianity when compared with other things. it's just music."

agreed

Anonymous (November 20, 2003)

To the do you math guy, I don't agree that "PUNK IS GAY", but that comment actually made me laugh out loud in class. Good job, even if you ARE a dick.

THAT GUY
(not signed in cause I got my wallet stolen)

Anonymous (November 20, 2003)

1/3log(2x 1) 1/2[log(x-4)-log(x^4-x^2-1)] =
log(2x 1)^1/3 1/2(log x-4/x^4-x^2-1)

log 3sqrt(2x 1)(sqrtx-4/x^4-x^2-1)

DO YOUR MATH. PUNK IS GAY.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

Mike Felumlee is one of the most talented drummers out there today. This needs some explaining!

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

how is mike felumlee a one trick pony?

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

i really don't understand why christianity makes people so uncomfortable when it comes to music. i totally agree with the review - how is it different than singing about anything else? it's not like he's singing "believe in jesus or you'll burn in hell." and to dismiss music just because of the artist's faith is ignorant. i'm sure lots of people who dismiss christian bands without a listen would be furious if people disregarded a band that had a homosexual member. i really don't understand why there is so little tolerance for christianity when compared with other things. it's just music.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

And Guns 'n Roses. I can see Nu-metal being the mullet rockkers new outdated music by the day.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

"surefire-Q101 single" Nice local reference, although the station itself pretty much sucks. Better than the zone cept the zone plays AC/DC.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

It's Faith 1 people...

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

rob kellenberger is awesome, i saw colossal a few months ago with the lawrence arms and they blew my mind. soooo good.

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

One of the greatest bands of all time.

-scotty

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

Its a shame good music cant be good if they sing about jesus. It seems to me to be a gross misconception

WingsOutside (November 18, 2003)

lol Faith 1 rocks :)

although this band may be good, any band that sings about a subject I totally disagree with will not be a fun band to listen to for me.

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

SUPERDUDE:
You are awesome. Not often a comment makes me laugh out loud, but as of now, you're 5 for 5 or how many you've written. I agree scientific formulas would help very muchly, and KIDS IN THE HALL is awesome...should go break out the old Brain Candy...but I know i won't.
-Janelle

Oh and I do believe tomorrow is the (some year) anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. Let's have a toast of tang...

aubin (November 18, 2003)

To the poster below me: It's a little disingenuous to compare organized religion to the Nazi's, even though I acknowledge the huge toll some members of religious groups have taken on the world.

That said, some of the songs are a little lyrically creepy, and I couldn't help but be reminded of "Faith 1" while listening to it. Maybe Duvall will win a Myr award.

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

This score is for organized religion.

Sure, it doesn't have anything to do with the sound but it has everything to do with what it means. If a band came out as racist - even if their lyrics didn't betray it - it would still be a mistake to support them.

Since, as a personal matter, I think traditional notions of god are complete crap and I object to the influence of the religious right on society, I choose also to object to music that promotes religion, no matter how indirectly.

superdude (November 18, 2003)

Thsi review was good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. it should mention the new Blink 182 album, because that's what's really important, right?

2. It doesn't go into detail about what exactly is going on. I mean, what's going on?

3. Volume and density are something scientific, there were no formulas included in the review to calculate volume or density

4. What kind of shoes are best to wear when listening to this album?

5. Are Duvall at all influenced by Kids in the Hall?

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

Agreed, very strong review. I have been spinning this album for a few weeks and I love it more every time I listen. I hope people don't stay away from this album because of Josh's faith. They would be missing out on a truly solid rock album.

Anonymous (November 18, 2003)

the Popes were the best, and now Duvall is the best. I agree with the entire review, especially the part that said you don't care that Josh sings about, as long as he keeps singing. Everyone should buy this album.

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