Review – The Dukes – Smoke Against The Beat

Artist: The DUKES

Album: Smoke Against The Beat

Rating: 9/10

The DUKES were formed by Vocalist and Guitarist Francois “Shanka” Maigret and Drummer Vocalist Greg Jacks in 2010. The French rockers will release their new first American full length album “Smoke Against The Beat” on July 28th which defines their sleek, sexy and full on driven sound, so let’s take a trip into the minds of these French dynamic rockers.

Smoke Against The Beat” is a great smooth title track. Easy and cool it takes you on a slick ride, it really is a jam to last through the time and a great song to name the album.

The DUKES are obviously visual artists usually using lights and multiple DIY projects. As noted by their cover art, while still remaining rockers in between. Their personage “Smoki” is drawn with a sharpie and epitomizes the DIY and subversive “Art’NRoll‘ spirit that animates the group. Their art is available in all forms, animation, comics, stop motion, and action figures, The Smoki universe is an expansion of The DUKES.

Just In Case” is the first single track that has a dark angsty portrayal in the scruff vocals but it’s still sleek in their own right with crisp and clear guitar work and delivery. The middle breakdown solo is very catchy and perfectly placed. The faint hint of their French accent rocking out really stands out and brings an element to the song that makes it unique in its own right.

The DUKES will also be making appearances on the Warped Tour in their own tour which is quite honor for the band, they will be performing alongside many veteran bands that have been on the forefront for years.

The track “Gold Digger” has an interesting intro, being very Artic Monkey sounding, if there is really any comparison between the two. The song is very low tone with great guitar strike and amazing vocal delivery that seems very ‘dive-like‘ bar jukebox portrayal with an auto-tune breakdown that completes the song with a guitar and drum jam out solo.

The synth beat that opens up with “Daisy’s Eyes“, on first listen it’s really very catchy and a sleek electric song set to a very uppity beat. The chorus is very melodic and keeps the synthesizers going throughout. I find the vocals are solid and fluid and really solidify in pulling the track together.

The newest single release “Black Hole Love” is a real stand out song pulling all the stops, having one the most aggressive and rocking energy, with leadman pushing the limits in his vocals and his guitar leads which most of the track. It leaves you repeating the song a couple times because of the energy it brings to your eardrums.

Overall, this album delivers some grungy, sleek and sophisticated vocals and some awesome jam out solos, it’s definitely worth a listen. This album , “Smoke Against The Beat” will be breakthrough in America with their French driving, rocking sound.


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Official Video for ” Black Hole Love”