Song of the Day: Dude York - Black Jack

Local Music, Song of the Day
12/16/2016
Gerrit Feenstra

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning show with John Richards, comes from local band Dude York. The Capitol Hill trio will release their first album for Hardly Art next year, entitled Sincerely, and "Black Jack" is the first track.

Dude York - Black Jack (MP3)For years, Dude York have been one of our favorite live bands in town. If you’ve ever been to a rock show in Seattle, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen them kick the night off with blistering rock goodness. Up front, there’s the tag team of Claire England and Peter Richards, rock the bass and guitar, respectively, trading colorful vocals and zingers to the audience with little regard for whether or not they sail over the heads of their listeners. Behind them, the only thing making you question Andrew Hall’s status as a punk drummer god is the Carly Rae Jepsen t-shirt (on the other hand, the 101 Dalmatians-themed patch jeans totally fit the bill). Claire once pawned off Peter’s comic collection at a Mikal Cronin concert. At Capitol Hill Block Party this year, Peter ended the set by rushing out into the Cha Cha Lounge audience and forcing selfies upon the audience. This is the kind of thing that happens at Dude York shows, and it’s an experience that you only get in that space… until now! Early next year, Dude York will release Sincerely, their first LP for Hardly Art Records. This album follows 2014 LP, Dehumanize, on Help Yourself. For this record, Dude York are out of the basement, recording with John Goodmanson (producer of Bikini Kill) and JR Slayer (of Blood Brothers and Head Wound City), and Sincerely embodies the resulting, anthemic sound you could expect from such a combination.

“Black Jack” is our first taste from that record. It’s the first song on the LP, and it sets the tone in ways most bands can only dream of doing in the span of three minutes. The track opens with a serene tremolo of guitars before breaking into Dude York’s best hook yet confined to tape. Peter’s guitars sizzle over top of Andrew’s snare and hat tradeoffs, and the combination is worthy of the most dedicated of head-banging. Where more recent Dude York tracks like “Lose Control” and “Love Is” have seen Claire drift more into the vocal fray (and hopefully we’ll see more of that on Sincerely), this one is led by Peter’s pained howl. “I heard life can find a way”, he sings, “for a hopeless case opened every day”. Whether or not that’s an intentional Ian Malcolm reference or not, who cares? “Black Jack” is an inspired charge for anyone who feels like life has beaten them to a pulp and life needs to find a way to hit back. By the end of this tune, you’ll feel that power rushing through your veins. This song is a gift from the band to you. Sincerely, Dude York.

Grab "Black Jack" above and keep your eye out for Dude York's upcoming LP, Sincerely, due February 24 on Hardly Art Records. Dude York will play an album release show at Chop Suey on February 23. Look for more dates on their website and Facebook page. For now, check out their video for "Hesitate", from their 2014 album, Dehumanize:

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