Thursday, May 11, 2017

Clearance - Catalogue Nos.

Chicago band Clearance released this collection of their early singles in 2014.  Walking Papers is an almost perfect indie rock song, with driving swaggering guitars and nonchalant singing from Mike Bellis.  Introduced chronologically, You're Not The Target oozes self-assurance and a relaxed charm.  Selling the Plot and She's Gonna Show You are brighter, with a bit more of a 'pop' feel.  One or two of the songs have a seemingly unconnected jam thrown on the end of them, which gives the tracks something of an enchanted charm....

Ok, I attempted to get through this review without mentioning the band they are most often compared to, Pavement, but to no avail.  The breezy charm of Close Encounters strongly evokes this band, while the navel-gazing Face the Frontier has a wonderful, lazy charm that emulates classic mid-period Pavement such as Father to a Sister of Thought brilliantly.  In fact, when this band slow it down on this and the sub-two minute Safer Passage they really excel, sounding effortless and just a little ragged.

They don't ignore more rocking moments, Drive Out! and Carte Blanche are a bit more forceful than anything else here, in a Velvet Underground/Strokes kind of way.  

It really is top drawer stuff.  An album of old-fashioned guitar thrills.  What's not to like?