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Amber by Clearlake

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Reviewed on 20th January 2006.



By Clearlake

There was a time around the release of their debut album "Lido" when Clearlake were regarded as heirs-in-waiting to Jarvis Cocker's throne of writing deadpan songs celebrating the everyday lives of ordinary people. However, on the evidence of this, their third album, such days are long gone. Crackling into life with a jarring guitar line and Bowie-indebted vocals underpinning a frenetic sense of paranoia on opener "No Kind Of Life", it's certainly a far cry from the likes of "Jumble Sailing" and "I Want To Live In A Dream".

However, although you wouldn't think so, this new-found sense of urgency actually suits them better than it really has any right to. If it's an attempt to hitch a lift on the Franz/Futureheads bandwagon then they've got it quite brilliantly wrong - instead the claustrophobic lyrics and suffocating fog of guitars on "Neon" and the title track actually bring to mind the dark reminiscences of Joy Division more than anything else. Ironically, it's only when they sail a bit too close to the territory of the two aforementioned ("You Can't Have Me") that they let themselves down a bit by being a bit too obviously derivative.

Mark this one down as one of the more exciting alt-music developments of the year so far.



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