Despite being described as melodic indie-rock, which covers a multitude of sins, there’s something of the elusive about CLIQUE. I don’t know if it’s in pinning down their sound; there’s a definite air of college radio about them and also a kind of lo-fi shoe gaze, or if it’s down to their songs, most of which weigh in at around 2 minutes or less; music for the internet generation maybe?
Although they have a definite ear for a melody, there’s little regard for traditional song structure with many of the songs sounding like snippets giving a slight sense of incompleteness. This is no bad thing though, opener, ‘Worth’, ‘Mess’ with its cool guitar lines and the brutal honesty of ‘Usage’ all showcase their signature guitar sound and downbeat vocals to good effect.
It’s the middle few tracks of the album that really work best though; ‘Crater’ mixes things up with a more rocky feel, while the ballady ‘Quappy’ adds emotional depth. ‘Wishful Thinking’ follows in a teenage love song vibe, but there’s a bit more range and power to this cool track, as is the case with ‘Separate’ with its layers of guitars adding weight to the bright melody.
‘Saline’ is probably the best worked song on the record though; its guitar melody meanders along brightly before gathering a little intensity towards the end making for a fine two minutes. They do stretch themselves to around three minutes on the last two tracks, but the big riffing ‘Mutual’ is rather laboured, although closing track ‘Kelly’, which has a more serious feel, conjuring up images of ex-girlfriends and summer, works well.
All in all, ‘Burden Piece’ is an enjoyable record, which despite sticking close to the band’s signature sound, does have some top quality moments.
‘Burden Piece’ by CLIQUE is released on May 27th on Topshelf Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)