I know I’m taking a bit of a chance reviewing this oldish and almost unknown Indie rock band particularly when the area of Progplanet’s specialty is most definitely Progressive Rock. But, casting commercial genres aside, just for one minute, how do you react when you come across an album full of interesting ideas and with a uniquely different approach to musical composition, this in my opinion constitutes the award of a merited progressive tag because it goes beyond the boundaries of the norm. As such I have no hesitation in recording my findings here in terms of a decent review for this “Clerlake” album which I had great fun in undertaking.
Utilising chordettes and omnichord players this band produce an overall dense harmonious blanket of sound comprising structured chord progressions interspersed with nice little guitar runs, swathes of keyboard and other deeply resonant string like sounds. The slightly discordant but extremely attractive and very (Southern) English vocals of Sam Hewitt are just so integral to the overall sound and listening pleasure and are exceedingly fascinating inasmuch, that despite seeming to be going off key his voice is in fact delivered in perfect pitch with superb intonation. Interwoven into the framework of the music is a most energetic and vigorous thrashing of drums together with emphatic bass lines and together they provide another area of listening interest. Apart from the very first track which can be totally disregarded we are left with eleven tracks full of melodic harmony encompassing a series of stimulating rhythmic patterns and which include altogether a series of quite unconventional but tuneful arrangements. As you continue listening to this album and particularly on subsequent plays you start to pick up more wonderful little counter melodies and other fascinating keyboard effects from what seems to be, for example, the warm sound of mandolin through to the seemingly coldish and eerie squeals of evil spirits. Shortish tracks maybe but lavish in style and composition.
Summary: An interesting and quite unique album of melodic songs with a definite progressive edge.
Cover Art: Fairly drab jewel case booklet but quite comprehensive in terms of information.
1. "Clearlake Lido" 1:06
2. "Sunday Evening" 3:38
3. "Don't Let the Cold In" 4:32
4. "Something to Look Forward To" 2:57
5. "These Things Are Sent to Try Us" 3:47
6. "I Hang on Every Word You Say" 3:21
7. "Let Go" 3:56
8. "Daybreaking" 1:13
9. "Jumble Sailing" 4:25
10. "Life Can Be so Cruel" 3:30
11. "I Want to Live in a Dream" 2:41
12. "Winterlight" 7:19
Line Up :
James Butcher -Drums and Chordette.
David Woodward –Bass and Omnichord.
Sam Hewitt –Keyboards and Vocals.
Jason Pegg –Guitar, harmonica and vocals.