Whilst I’m sure there were many before them, Clatter were the first rock duo that I discovered and rocked out to that were just bass, drums and vocals. I hadn’t heard a bass guitar be used as a lead melody maker in quite the way Clatter had done it. After several years away ‘Pull Back for Sound’ is their new album and it feels like they haven’t been away. Crammed full of epic bass rock anthems its a treat from start to end.
After the mood building opener ‘Loom’, it is The More I Think’ that kicks off the albums full intent. Amy’s voice and bass guitar are in full flow as various pedals expand what you think a bass guitar can do. On the flip side, Joe continues to be a master of percussion and the attention to detail in his loops are Matt Chamberlain-esque. This track also showcases Clatters new approach to songs as it moves through various catchy suites of power chords, angsty chants funky bass warbles and massive drum fills. It’s the perfect place to start as a Clatter newbie.
‘Space of One’ shows how the duo has included some slower dystopian reflective tracks too. It’s a stellar entry and a vibe Clatter haven’t often done. ‘Faith In You’ is more dreamlike and includes some nods towards their acoustic EP wrapped up in space logs, synths and empty ambience. Later on, the superb ‘Residuum’ brings in a wonderful electric piano and synth lute pieces. It lends itself to a 2001 space odyssey vibe that peaks out through every tracks synth background. There is a lot of heavy synth work that works as an underlayer that makes the album feel like a cinematic journey.
Those tracks aside though, Clatter is all about the crazy bass rock and the rest of the tracks prove that. Standout single in waiting ‘Reeling’ could find itself on repeat in any rock club. Its pace, drive and quirky synth riff straight out of a vocaloid rock number is pure joy to the ears. ‘Dive’ has a free-flowing stadium rock feel to it as Joe’s drums create a flowing river of beats. The sheer speed and rhythm in the middle section wow me upon every listen. Elevating that free-flowing joy into a jam ‘Come Back’ sounds like two musicians in perfect sync as they indulge in shoegaze choruses and hard rock riffs. Playing with paranoia, ‘Seven Shades of Hell’ has a maddening riff that crawls under your skin with its urgency. Think Gazelle Twin goes metal and you are part way there. The last surprise comes as the closing track ‘Embers’ which takes a pinch of Cocteau Twin production and adds it to the Clatter mix. It sounds lush to the ear and is nothing like anything else on the album.
‘Pull Back for Sound’ promises a hair raising ride from the title alone and across the 11 tracks Clatter absolutely deliver. I’ve felt like 2019 has been lacking in the crunchy, gritty rock arena for me personally and this album perfectly fills that void. Easily one of rocks best-kept secrets, take a listen and you’ll be blown away by their craftsmanship.
Recommended track: The More I Think
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