Youíd think most bands from seaside towns would tend to play summery, carefree jingles, taking advantage of the sun and coast and injecting that joy into their songwriting. Then you remember that itís not sunny in England for half the year and that thought process changes. Clearlake are hardly the darkest band on the planet, but the Beach Boys they arenít either. The four-piece from Hove on the southern coast of England have recently released Cedars in the US and ìAlmost The Sameî is that albumís lead single. Comprised of bits of English popís recent past (Blur, Talk Talk), it recalls the heyday of ë80s UK indie pop, but with a decidedly meatier sound that wasnít possible fifteen years ago. If John Hughes made a version of Sixteen Candles today, heíd surely find space on the soundtrack for ìAlmost The Same.î But, thatís not the only standout bit on Cedars. Radiohead arenít fans of these boys for nothing. As the album ticks by the music changes like the seasons; sometimes strings swell, sometimes guitars buzz, but one thing remains constant: Clearlake produce a diverse, wholly worthwhile listening experience. Go sit amongst their Cedars and hear for yourself.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN