communal death duck was formed out of the ashes of a great cosmic eg on labor day 2003 in alice, texas, united states of america
neo-folk demos from a project by norberto and jackie called Le Lobe Lizards were reconstructed w/the addition of jill on drums the day her set was bought at the age of 13
the outsider background of the band as well as their appreciation of the more nerdy acts of the past (pixies, talking heads, peter gabriel, joy division) as well as more contemporary blood (i.e. clinic, modest mouse, radiohead) led to their mutated sound best described as: bump thumpin, noiz inducin, genre bendin, robot dancing, three-legged mutant ducks straight outta the pits of south texas as well as, “...the weirdest thing to come out of alice, texas since the ebola strain of ‘96.” - James Gamez
cdd released their demo RECORDINGS: 2003-04 in 2004 and their full length HOT COCOA 4 THE MASSES soon thereafter in 2004 their newest album WE GOT SUNSHINE will be released summer 2006 they are hardworkers and like cats - cornelius 05.02.06
"Hot Cocoa For the Masses," Communal Death Duck (2004)
If "Fly" reveals the Duck's more skittishly pop persona, "Hot Cocoa for the Masses" by and large focuses on the more subdued nature of the band's collective personality. While the mood does indeed seem somewhat darker on the band's debut than on other albums, the relaxed pace allows the band to explore a more straight-forward indie approach that borrows a bit from Interpol in the guitar department while still maintaining the Duck's sublimely individual nature. "Unmoving" is positively hypnotic with its subtle simple vocal phrasing that defies you to resist the urge to put the track on "repeat". "Chupacabras," named after the cryptid that reportedly stalks livestock in parts of North and Central America, builds on the bell-like guitar arpeggio that formally introduces the track by following up with a Strokes-like double-stop riff that proves that economy is just as valuable in establishing indie style as virtuosity is in the metal world.
Perhaps the most adventurous of all CDD tracks found on "Hot Cocoa" is "MK-Ultra," a particularly noisy collection of patterns that de-evolves into free-form ambience midway through the number, which is likely an aural tip of the hat to the notorious CIA mind-control program for which the track is named. Nurse with Wound and Wolf Eyes fans, take note.
Other compositions such as "The Phone Song" and "Circle K" lean on early '80s pioneers such as the Joy Division and Flipper -- and in this day and age of remarkably over-produced digital nonsense, it's heartening to know that bands like the youthful Communal Death Duck are willing to explore ancient analog territory and quote from it in such a respectful way.
Ultimately, "Hot Cocoa for the Masses" is more suited to the ears of a longtime CDD fan and is definitely not a disc for novices not yet steeped in the ways of this odd South Texas Duck. But for those listeners who know and love this Duck, it is a compelling and challenging affair that will broaden your perspective on CDD. The question is ... are you up for the challenge?
Amped Up sez: ****