Claire Quilty is a crisp band with a bleak outlook, often-heavy rock sections and somewhat depressed lyrics, like its opening line, “Anger is beautiful/it fills a hole.” Its female-fronted vocals make for an interesting contradiction of feeling, as Jenn Rhubright’s steady voice carries downbeat words with an air of elegance. The band is easily at their best when they’re not being textured, though, particularly at the many intros and interludes where the guitar is cut out completely, leaving a steady and deep bassline to accompany the vocals.
The album follows a distinct lineage, it seems, as it starts out depressed and heavy and soon moves into being sexual and heavy. They do occasionally lighten up for sections of songs, and with about three-fourths of the way through Strong, the clear and professional recording and producing of the album disappears and leaves a rawness quite reminiscent of Hole, complete with the band’s steady female vocals falling whiny and scratchy. Surprisingly, there is also “Reach Tomorrow” within this change, a displaced but pleasant surprise of indie-pop somewhere between Dressy Bessy and Heavenly. However, all in all, Claire Quilty obviously likes their rock with a heavy and distorted tint and, with a smattering of depression, they dish out plenty of it.
DCide Records, 1926 14th Street, NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20009; http://www.dcide.com