The US fusion-blues quartet The Claudettes released the LP DANCE SCANDAL AT THE GYMNASIUM! a few hours ago.
The Claudettes – photo by Jaka Vinsek
Unlike the shouty album title this is a dozen track release (available on bandcamp) of welcoming and warm dirty-blues that grinds its way through the speakers filling the room with music that invites the listener to tarry in its company, like an invitation to share a drink in a ramshackle bar offered to a stranger in town – and long before the first song has run its course the audience feels The Claudettes are long-time travelling companions.
Each song offers something slightly different with the variety of vocals enabling the quartet to shake things up at will, while the various options of piano types and style lays down the template for the compositions as guitar and bass paint the imagery, while percussion plays an understated, though intrinsic, part in developing the atmosphere of the tracks.
My pick of the release being the second track – Give It All Up For Good.
I am once again late to another article, so my apologies to everyone for my poor administration.
Birthday Wish are all too familiar with my late replies as on the 7th of this month I dropped them an email apologising for the late response to an email of theirs from October 2016 to which I received an almost instantaneous response to let me know of the single Other. Minds which had been released on bandcamp a few hours earlier – it has taken me until now to actually get to that email too.
Infrequently releasing new tracks, with Other. Minds being the follow up to the 2016 EP Born To A Cause (also on bandcamp) is of very different flavour to the last, mathematical-architectured, release.
Other. Minds, though only lasting less than three minutes, seeps deep in to the marrow bone as the music drifts through the room in a hazy flow of synthesis and instrumentation as it slows down the pace of the day to a more gentle undulation and a track to pull out when life gets too frenetic.
Their début EP, the four track Illuminate Your Mind, that came out last week has an analogue feel of of warming valves in the amplifier as Pioneer Salesmen deliver a blend of ’60s brit-blues wrapped with ’50s rock’n’roll to create music to which finds the listener involuntarily swaying with the beat – best articulated by the second song on the EP – Takes Its Toll.
The latest track to surface – Manifest is of equally gloomy perspective – reflecting on a world riven by abstract irrelevant petty squabbles, whilst the bigger picture of the grinding down of the populace to merely serve a a failed system becomes lost in the shouting matches. Underpinning the dour countenance lays an hypnotic piano led synthesis.
Long time in gestation there is still no final word on the long awaited début LP however, after various line-up chsanges which has delayed progression, the latest track to surface Soul Crushing Ecstasy finds the band sounding better than it has on previous features, with a more complex narrative, part of which is from the studio post-production, the bulk being from a new found self-belief therefore, it may be a tad premature to raise as a thought, I do however get the sense the album is finally on its way.