This is the eighth album from the self-confessed Glasgow-based "shambles". But Lyle reckons Duff Steer is his "strongest album to date, despite the fact there are two s*** songs on it". Personally, of the 10 songs on the album, I can't find those two less palatable tunes. To my ears, the DIY-bedroom slacker grunge sound of this album is fantastic. In a world of Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, Duff Steer is anything but. Instead, it's like an aural Band-Aid for the ears.
The album opens with the heavy metal crunch of Hoots. It's an eye-opening take on the current state of the world: "Maybe there's a group for victims of torture, sit around discuss the horror". Lyle's voice has the languid drawl of Beck or Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, turning the metal grit of the music into something more knowing with grin-making lyrics like Say That Again's "I saw a sign today it said 'no signs are allowed'". Bumpkin updates glam rock, Mustard Hop is 80s hair rock and Grimace harks to Nirvana as it rails against how self-centred we've become. Minkerton is joyous despite the lyrics: "Each morning is a curse". Final song Fracker is another roar against society's mindless sheep-like mentality: "They pretend to give you choice, every week more deceit is what they give".
Eight albums since 2007's debut Why Doesn't My Album Sound As Loud As Everyone Else's? and two years after his last album, The Landed Gentry, Lyle reckons he's "marching toward the inevitability of a cold, dark grave, trying to record some decent albums in the interim". Job done.