Ducking Punches – Put The Bottle Down, Chinaski

By Andy

DUCKING PUNKCHES – AKA Dan Allen – is another addition to the acoustic folk/punk scene that’s blown-up in recent years. ‘Put The Bottle Down, Chinaski’ is a short five-tracker that’s musically gentle but lyrically rich.

Allen’s approach is generally straight forward, although it’s a bit more advanced than one man and his guitar. Backed by the ethereal sounds of violin, this EP has an enchanted feel to it at times, a stark contrast to some of the brutally bleak lyrics on offer; expect stories of drug and gambling addictions, jail cell heart attacks, and desolation. It’s the sort of record that doesn’t reach out and grab you so much as subtly links arms and drags you off. That being said, it’s quite a tough listen. Not one for those sunshine soaked Sunday mornings.

Comparisons to Frank Turner are obvious, but not unfair, although Ducking Punches lacks the big-time hooks Turner can craft. This is simplified stuff from an artist early in the developmental stages. Think Mike Scott (Allen’s current labelmate) a few years back, although with a little less venom, or a more sombre Beans On Toast. ‘Put The Bottle Down, Chinaski’ isn’t the finished article yet, but it exhibits potential nonetheless.


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