The Clientele

The Clientele

The Clientele

God Save the Clientele

Merge

For any band making a long go of it, stylistic change is inevitable and when that shake-up occurs there are bound to be divisions drawn by long-time fans. Belle & Sebastian is a prime example of this. Their graduation from bedroom to Broadway on Dear Catastrophe Waitress ended up alienating some but also enabled them to reach a wider pop audience. With God Save the Clientele, the sonic shift has struck The Clientele and while this release might not sound dramatically different to casual listeners, it took some getting used to for folks like me.

One of The Clientele’s defining characteristics was their dream-like sound. It had an agelessness that’s practically erased in this digital age. That low lo-fi hum — like the whisper of a running 4-track cassette tape — was like a reliable fourth instrument among the bass, drums and guitar. On this release, the band forsakes allusions to this ambiance to embrace clear melodies and bubblegum riffs. The inclusion of new member Mel Draisey on strings and piano to the band’s line-up has freed singer/guitarist Alasdair MacLean to focus more on rhythm rather than tremolo-soaked guitar leads. As such, the obvious Monkee-isms on the opener “Here Comes the Phantom” are momentarily shocking, as is the strident dance-punk strut (!) of “Bookshop Casanova,” but this band has had such a deep knowledge of pop songwriting at their disposal their whole career that there isn’t the slightest faltering in this boundary pushing. Tracks like “I Hope I Know You” and “The Queen of Seville” are more languid, restrained fare and sure to please those who reveled in the cool commiseration of The Clientele’s past. It’s too soon to tell if God Save the Clientele is a transition record from dream pop to a more ’60s bent psychedelic revival, but it’s a quality addition to their body of work and a fine tuning of their sound that should please all fans of well-crafted pop music.

Merge Records: www.mergerecords.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

  • Soul Understated
    Soul Understated

    Soul Understated was a swizzle stick of jazz, funk, pop with a dash of Radiohead in the delightful DC cocktail.

  • Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu
    Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu

    That Trip We Took With Dad is the debut feature by acclaimed Romanian short film director Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu. Generoso Fierro sat down with Lǎzǎrescu during SEEFest to discuss the comedy and drama within the adaptation of her deeply personal family story for the screen.

  • Aware
    Aware

    The Book Of Wind (Glacial Movements). Review by Carl F Gauze.

From the Archives