Duotang Yellowhead Brewery, Edmonton AB, October 11
Published Oct 12, 2015Winnipeg post-punk group Duotang were a going concern at a time when two-piece bands consisting only of bass and drums weren't common — the mid-'90s. Their resurgence may have been a timely one, but what's great about it is how it feels less of a reunion and more of a continuation.
Duotang don't sound like they've been gone a long time. Frontman/bassist Rod Slaughter held it together playing melodic bass lines that Peter Hook wishes he could have written, while drummer Sean Allum stole attention away with his dynamite drum fills and incredible time keeping presence. Their songs, meanwhile, don't feel dated — Slaughter's bass might be a little too bright and clean for people used to the growling tone favoured by contemporary bass-and-drum duos, but it didn't take away from the songwriting.
As tight as Duotang were, however, the set had a casual, loose feel to it, which suited the proceedings as the band quickly ripped through a few tracks from their back catalogue and some new ones they're working on. They even called on Wet Secrets mastermind Lyle Bell to play on a New Order cover that worked out so well for all parties, they took their chances with a Clash song. "We haven't played this song together, so this could be bad," Slaughter said with a laugh. By all accounts, the two bass musicians and drummer were in the position to falter dramatically but they pulled it off, an ambitious set closer from a band with a new lease on life.