Duke Special – ‘Look Out Machines!’
Duke Special – ‘Look Out Machines!’

ALBUM REVIEW : Duke Special – ‘Look Out Machines!’

Duke Special (aka Peter Wilson) returns with a new studio album this April. Thankfully for some it’s a nod back to the artist’s earlier material as we’re treated to a plethora of melodies, clever storytelling and choruses that are rarely in short supply.

‘Look Out Machines!’ distances itself from Wilson’s previous concept albums and re-introduces us to a format that pretty much brought the Irish singer-songwriter to our attention back in 2005; there are certainly similarities between this and 2007’s ‘Songs from the Deep Forest’. The indie-pop feel is very evident from beginning to end and this new offering glimmers on its maiden voyage.

Wilson takes the role of storyteller throughout the LP and does so in the first-person. Each track is lyrically rich and at times gives us a quite personal insight into the artist’s life. There are genuine elements of drama and Wilson uses modern day instrumentation to bring these to our attention. Bellowing electronica provides a canny backbone when a short story requires the relevant dramatisation.

The entire album is full to the brim of melodies and memorable choruses. The elements of pop that have been absent from previous releases, at times, cause this LP to teeter under its own weight. And maybe that is my one criticism; do the aforementioned items offer any real longevity? If you were to revisit the LP in 2-3 months’ time would the product have the same wow factor it has on its first listen? For the here-and-now it’s a wonderful collection of tracks. However, with each listen the music doesn’t have the same sparkle as it did previously. Sure, that can be said of any LP but for some reason it’s more noticeable here.  Classic pop records are time-less whereas this seems to have a sell-by date.

That said, Peter Wilson has always been considered to be one of Ireland’s most gifted songwriters. His determination to do things his way has always been refreshing in an age where money sometimes outranks the music. Certainly ‘Look Out Machines!’ promises to be one of the artists more approachable releases and with it will come a larger audience. The recognition and returns will be well deserved for an artist who has given his heart and soul throughout his thirteen year career.

‘Look Out Machines!’ is out now, via Stranger Records.

The full track-listing for ‘Look out Machines!’ is as follows…


‘Elephant Graveyard’

‘Step to the Magical’

‘In a Dive’


‘Son of the Left Hand’

‘Look out Machines’

‘Nail on the Head’

‘Tweed Coats’

‘Stepping Stones’


You can see ‘Duke Special’ at one of the following venues…

21st April 2015 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds BUY TICKETS

22nd April 2015 – Waterfront, Norwich BUY TICKETS

23rd April 2015 – Komedia, Brighton BUY TICKETS

24th April 2015 – Talking Heads, Southampton BUY TICKETS

25th April 2015 – The Bowery District, Reading BUY TICKETS

26th April 2015 – The Globe, Cardiff BUY TICKETS

13th May 2015 – Islington Assembly Hall, London BUY TICKETS

15th May 2015 – Mandela Hall, Belfast BUY TICKETS

16th May 2015 – Vicar Street, Dublin BUY TICKETS

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Duke Special – ‘Look Out Machines!’