by: Joe Siess
Band: Jimmy Dudding
Album: The Masquerade
Label: No Label
Jimmy Dudding strikes me as a man trapped in the wrong decade. The sequins and smoke might have faded away years ago, but Dudding keeps the spirit of the 80’s lit like a blazing kerosene lamp smothered in a thick fog.
He’s got this Electric Light Orchestra meets Prince meets a cheeky south Florida soft core smut peddler thing going on. The strange, occult, mildly suggestive undertones in Dudding’s featured music video, entitled Masquerade, make for an intriguing watch. It will either curl your toenails, or make you flutter with delight depending on how you take it.
Dudding’s music is high energy. That’s for sure. His style is unmistakably reminiscent of the 1980’s, however tracks on Dudding’s new EP entitled Masquerade, such as Lady Throgmorton and Dark Circus, are strikingly modern without abandoning the signature groove that characterizes his style and sound.
The Masquerade music video, available on Youtube, according to Dudding himself, is chock full of religious and political undertones, and is essentially a covert depiction of the perversions associated with what many refer to as the American Dream, but disguised as a kind of spiritual and cultural “machine” of sorts.
In my opinion, the video is the story of a paradise lost. The protagonist of the story, a young innocent girl, is cast into a warped, twisted, perverted society in which people distort their intentions and conceal their humanity behind masks. Sounds familiar.
Dudding writes that the story portrayed in the video is of the girl’s initiation into elite society, however the religious and cultural nuances create a multifaceted experience in which the meaning of the images and symbolism in the video can be interpreted in many ways.
When it’s all said and done, the masquerade is essentially a metaphor for all of our lives whether we know it or not. Specifically life in a society and culture that is inherently corrupt and depraved. While I was reviewing Dudding’s EP, I came across some of his other stuff on Youtube and was surprised.
A track called Over My Head struck a chord as it mixed the 80’s thing with a kind of rap, or slam poetry kind of vibe which I found to be rather nice. The fusion of sounds is lovely, and it for sure rears its head on the EP as well, especially on Dark Circus, which happens to be my favorite track on the album.
Jimmy Dudding is unique in his ability to effortlessly craft music from a variety of sources and at the same time avoid diluting his distinct style. He is weird and sometimes manic, but it all makes for a lovely effect. So if you are looking for a fresh sound with an old school vibe, then I would recommend giving Jimmy Dudding a solid listen.