I was immediately intrigued when presented with the opportunity to review one-man ‘band’ Clyde Von Klaus’s latest release Moonbeams. The music described in the press release hinted at garage, doom, fuzz, occult, psych, all adjectives that quip my curiosity, and the fact it’s one dude? Sign me up. I mean, I’ve always respected anyone that has taken the time and put in the effort to learn an instrument, whether I care for their music or not. It’s not easy learning any instrument, and when someone is a multi-instrumentalist, capable of laying it all down themselves, it’s all the more impressive.
I was totally unfamiliar with Clyde Von Klaus, or CVK, prior to this review, and went in with zero expectations. Moonbeams is, going by his Bandcamp page, 10th release in some form, and the third as Clyde Von Klaus. Clearly prolific, and an obvious music-lifer, CVK has been making music since the late 90s/early 00s. Moonbeams offers the listener a wide variety of sounds and styles, within the garage/doom genre, as it were, and has an excellent flow.
Moonbeams wastes zero time opening with Ale Of Extractions a lo-fi, garage, fuzz-fest. CVK’s echoey vocals, and catchy chorus float acrossthe top of his riffing really well. It’s a great album opener, as it offers the listener a glimpse of what’s to come. Concede switches gears evoking comparisons to UK post-punk with the main guitar line, driving drums, and haunting vocals. CVK brings the garage/doom riffage on the outro, making Concede one of the standout tracks.
The Harbor Unites The Deluded is a killer, mid-tempo, lo-fi, doom chugger, highlighted by CVK’s wah-pedal, his understated drumming, and his far-away, melodic vocals. I’m So Right meanwhile shows us a melancholy side, with a nice psychedelic palette-cleanser, before Detonation gives us another taste of CVK’s specific brand of occult-doom riffage.
Moonbeams is a weird, eclectic, heavy, garage-y, spacey, doomy, melancholy little gem of an album…
Broken Novelty is a nice mid-album change of pace, CVK displaying different moods, and styles within the song, before switching gears yet again, with the nasty venomous, stomp of Black Eye. Another highlight for me is Feel Fell In, the main riff taking me straight back to late 90s Estrus Records garage rock if shot through a fuzz-drenched 70s rock lense.
No More Words is a crawling chugger, coupled with CVK’s, frankly jarring, black metal-esque shrieking, before switching back and forth between his established melodic, affects-drenched voice. Closer Bring Back Your Smile does a complete 180, dropping in into a sad, reflective, new wave-ish vibe.
Moonbeams is a weird, eclectic, heavy, garage-y, spacey, doomy, melancholy little gem of an album, made all the cooler by the fact that one guy did all this by himself. Yet another cool album, released way late in the year, that I will be spinning long past this review. I’m a sucker for everything that Clyde Von Klaus offers up musically, and Moonbeams hit that sweet spot. Recommended.
Scribed by: Martin Williams