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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 103 - 02/24/05

The Clientele
The Violet Hour + Ariadne EP
Pop Frenzy

Have you heard of The Clientele? They're a London three piece and they should, by rights, be a lot more recognisable in the indie scene. Why? They're absolutely phenomenal - but in a shy, shrugging, understated way.

This debut was released some time ago, but has been picked up by Pop Frenzy in Australia, and comes with the Ariadne EP tacked on the end. Normally this would put me off such as release, as I love to be able to appreciate an album as a whole; additional tracks or alternate takes don't lure me in. However, the EP has some notable departures from the Clientele sound, and is worth having.

And the Clientele sound? Pure, ethereal bliss. Strong, well-formed songs, but blurred around the edges, swathed in reverb. The basslines are mellifluous, the drums brushed just-so. Alisdair Maclean on vocals and guitar sounds like a cloud-dwelling George Harrison, plucking out glistening arpeggios and sighing the sweetest, sweetest melodies.

My only complaint is that there are two-second pauses between each track, which really disrupts the gorgeous flow of the album. According to Pop Frenzy that was what the band wanted, but I refuse to believe it. Why create lovely segues between songs only to have them torn apart by silence?

Regardless, this is a sublime release, and well worth tracking down. I can almost guarantee you'll fall in love with it.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Clientele article/review: East Brunswick Club, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA 26.7.07.

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