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Slow Claw Clocks In

By Mike Breen · February 25th, 2009 · Spill It
Though I’m not a believer in the notion that “there’s no truly original music being made anymore,” I can recognize a truly unique aesthetic when I hear one. And that’s just what I hear all over the debut album from Indie trio Slow Claw, Grandfather Clocks. The group formed out of the ashes of Junior Revolution, a more driving, hard-guitar-based band, and while fans of that band will recognize the emotive vocals and passionate delivery, Slow Claw is its own fantastic beast.

Recorded in South Carolina with Joel T. Hamilton of The Working Title, Grandfather Clocks is a collection of fractured Pop songs with unique rhythms, slanted chords and an overall sense of arrangement that is impressively sporadic and unpredictable. Slow Claw has an imaginative approach to the use of space in their songs, layering the tracks with simple, hovering sounds that combine to create something intimate and often oddly ethereal. Though loaded with subtle hooks, the band’s music eschews the repetition of Pop music for something more fluid and stream-of-conscious.

On “Colorado,” a light, almost jazzy guitar progression is met with an explosive drum line, twilight xylophone twinkles and earnest, passionate vocals and harmonies.

Opener “Miss Lady Lately” is the CD’s most traditionally “rockin’” track, with sideways guitar and a more traditional “soaring chorus,” but it also contains an unanticipated banjo part that somehow doesn’t sound completely out of place. The drums lead the way on “Sprinkle, Sprinkle,” taking an almost lead role that winds and thumps along the song’s dynamic path. Like much of the record, the track feels like it was written as a straightforward Pop song, then completely dismantled and reimagined.

Slow Claw hosts a CD release show Saturday at Northside Tavern, joined by White Girls and The Guitars. (myspace.com/slowclaw)

More Local Notes

• In tribute to the 11th anniversary of Neutral Milk Hotel’s influential Aeroplane Over the Sea, singer/songwriter Peter Adams will do a special show this Saturday at Rohs Street Café. Adams and his band will play the album — widely considered one of the best Indie Rock albums ever made — from start to finish. Matthew Shelton opens the all-ages show with a set of his own material and a few songs off of NMH’s debut album, On Avery Isle. (peteradamsmusic.com)

• The local arts/music group Cincinnati’s United Local Artists Network Inc. (C.U.L.A.N.) presents its 11th annual Music Masters Summit and Award Ceremony Sunday at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley. The show — which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. — features a wide range of local musicians, including Code Blue, Jon Justice, Mr. Keith Little, Dallas Moore and Lomax. At around 7:30 p.m., the “Flower Awards Ceremony” will honor William “Billie” Gant, The Deele, Travis Haddix and The Original Blind Boys of Mississippi with lifetime achievement awards. (culan.org)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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