I’m a big fan of album packaging. Growing up in the 80’s before the CD boom vinyl packaging was part of the thrill of buying an album. I’m so chuffed to see a band turning the CD format on its head to create an amazing little package. This is certainly one of the cutest CDs I’ve ever received being a 3″ 3 tracker housed in a folded card sleeve with a fantastic pen drawing of Tom Cruise in a clinch with an octopus (if only this were real, I fucking hate Tom Cruise!!!). Such attention to presentation truly shows the band’s commitment to their art and things just get better when you slip this little sucker into a CD player.
Featuring members of Analysis of Bison Kills and hailing from my old stomping ground of York this demo may be small but by Christ is it big on ideas. The word “prog” is bandied around far too easily these days and used to describe anything that deviates from the basic 4/4 rhythm or basic blues scales it seems but in this case it would be an apt term of reference. Almost completely instrumental the shifting rhythms and complex tumbles of notes on this release seem to combine the space age vibe of prime 80’s Voivod with the dissonance of Red era King Crimson touching on some Yes style noodling, sludge/doom heaviness and even some of Nocturnus or Death’s later more technical work. The three superbly named tracks “Make it Loud Like Star Trek”, “Blowjob Soliloquy” and “Fat and Glamorous” all follow a similar path of complex crossed rhythms with technical guitar interplay and some big-assed fat riffs and manage to cram in idea upon idea into each song without ever outstaying their welcome. There are no 20 minute Genesis style epics to wade through here…this is a drive-by progging, in and out with no fuss or frills. CLC are also happy to throw the odd little curve ball into the mix, check out the dead man’s last breath groans in “Blowjob Soliloquy” or the mellow, almost jazz inflected interludes that creep into “Fat and Glamorous” show a band with enough ideas to sustain them further.
As amazing as the music is the production, however, is a little flat. It’s certainly very clear and concise and each instrument stands out clearly in the mix but it does lack a little body, the main culprit being the drums which sound a little muted to my rock and roll addled ears, almost like the drummer has been given a set of yoghurt pots to play. My main criticism here I guess is that it sounds a little too polished where a more live vibe would kick this into a different league.
Production niggles aside, please please please try and get a hold of this little beauty. The initial run is limited to 100 copies so I hope they repress as CLC are an exciting prospect and need to be heard. Easily the most exciting thing to come out of York since I lived there…when can I have an album to listen to!!!
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall