Jun 22, 2009


This album fairly sparkles. Dynamic and direct, it fills the listener with excitement upon every listen. The debut album from Montreal's Clues is to be applauded and lauded for its ingenuity and freshness. When The Unicorns dissolved, we waited for the next stage. If roughly one half (or two thirds even) gave us the drama of Islands, then the other half has waited longer. But the wait was worth it. Clues are definitely more closely aligned to the music of The Unicorns. Alden Penner and his band of merry men have managed to create a piece of music that is both thrilling and substantial. This is direct and forthright music, infused with insanely catchy melodies and interesting ideas. Ideas that balance light and dark in near perfect proportions.

This self titled debut is also an urgent affair. It fairly rattles along, passengers are welcome but they better hold on tight. Tightly, for this freight train has no fat and is pure muscle. It clatters and bangs, music that is strong on melody but also possesses an ability to wake any listener from their potential stupour. This is extremely evident on the opening three songs. "Haarp" is static guitar and drum rolls and lilting vocals, a kaleidoscopic track, closely followed by the surging "Remember Severed Head" and the bulldozing "Approach The Throne". All these songs feature unique time signatures, a great deal of urgency and explosive percussion with cymbals being bashed with great fury. This is definitely a great album to experience on headphones as you pick up the robust sounds and deft nuances. There is light though, with the eerie "In The Light" providing respite. I also enjoy the slow build up of "You Have My Eyes Now", which climbs and reaches with great effect into the air. As stated, there is no filler on this excellent album. Whether it is the pop certainty of "Perfect Fit" or the sombre taste of "Elope" there is much here to enjoy. Well, enjoyment is guaranteed with surety on the pulsating and airtight "Cave Mouth" or the mini epic that is "Ledmonton". Clues have crafted a pop/rock record of great energy and balance. Music with urgency and an unceasing ear for melody.

MP3: Remember Severed Head


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