31 December 2009

Clues - Clues

A small one to finish a year which saw too little updates on this blog.

A couple of years ago there were these pointy, punky rock 'n roll bands which managed to become some sort of hype, think Franz Ferdinand or Kaiser Chiefs. It's probably more to do with the state of the music biz at the time than with the bands because it wasn't really revolutionary what they did, however much fun they were. Around that time there was also the album 'Who will cut our hair when we're gone' by The Unicorns. The Unicorns were punky & pointy rockers too but somewhat pointier than many of the comparable bands and with memorable music and lyrics. Anyway, they were also fun to listen to for a short while because they blew up before they could finish a second album.

Fast forward 5 years, ex-Unicorn Alden Penner is one part of Clues, together with a.o. one Brendan Reed who played in The Arcade Fire before they became well known.

The reference to The Unicorns is relevant because some of the quirkyness of The Unicorns can also be found in Clues. That's all, Clues is more ambitious and polished than The Unicorns, but it's there and it makes Clues appealing. And that's it too, this isn't the best release of the past year or so but certainly an entertaining bunch of ideas and a few songs that make the cut easy. It fails when they emphasize their singing too much or when the edges of the production are too rough: many things The Unicorns got away with splendidly, don't work anymore when the bar is raised. Still a band to keep an eye on, the ideas remain interesting.
Constellation Records, 2009

Clues - Clues