Review by Jake Jeremy.
First off, any band with ‘face’ in the name will instantly endear themselves to me: here’s looking at you Leatherface and Face to Face, who get double points. Anyway, right now I’m looking at new Clayface EP – Don’t Hold Your Breath, their first on Manchester’s Horn & Hoof Records, due for release on November 10th.
First off, the band lays out a beautifully intricate and delicate intro track rather fittingly called Intro. It has a Cheshire Cat-era Blink vibe that strangely doesn’t have any vocals but does serve as a precursor to just some of what you can expect later on.
The second track Just A Word completely shifts gears into a two minute ska-punk track that has a laid back 3 Doors Down style and impressive bass work over a fairly solid soft-hard-soft dynamic. It doesn’t have a strict structural base, but it flows quite effortlessly until the more reggae infused ‘breakdown’ that gets a bit Sublime, before launching straight back into a full-pelt distorted outro.
Next up is Only Guy In The World, a one minute Lars and The Bastards-style track that does again have a hint of Blink in there. This is more straight ahead than Just a Word but the focus shown here is more akin to what I would want out of future releases from the band. NOPE! Tell a lie… Nothing Left hits me next and is the best track on this EP, a perfect mesh of everything I’ve described previously but with a strong sense of stricture and even more nods to some classic 90’s pop-punk. Recommended listening for sure.
Once More With Feeling is an odd one; a proper Pixies-esque start before a Leatherface song appears out of nowhere! A really solid track and a slight departure from the rest of the EP’s offering, that does well to break any preconceived notions that you might’ve had. They keep you guessing on this EP and I do not mind that at all.
The penultimate track I Don’t Wanna Surf Today has ‘that’ sound, the one that makes Gnarwolves such a hit. However, it doesn’t sound out of place alongside the rest of the track listing. It clocks in at a solid 1:47, so it serves as just a neat little ditty.
Finally, we get Something Sweet and Sickly. Granted, I wouldn’t call Clayface ‘sweet,’ but this track is the most accessible in terms of lyrical delivery and a clear chorus. Again I’m getting a Leatherface influence here, which only serves to leave me happy as the final notes, woos and general hand clapping rings out.
Great EP, great band, check it out.
Why not pick up a physical copy from Horn & Hoof, currently available for pre-order? You can also catch Clayface live at Pie Race Festival and on various dates around the country. Check them out on Facebook while you’re at it.
Review by Jake Jeremy.
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