Have you ever Scrobbled? Shhh, I have many times, and I haven't gone blind or developed ape-like features. If you don't know what I am talking about, I am referencing a feature on LastFM. Scrobbling keeps track of and tallies all of the songs and bands that you listen to. This works in conjunction with another feature on LastFM that uses an algorithm to recommend other songs and bands you might like based on your listening habits. Last summer, the band Clandestine was recommended to me.
While the definition of clandestine is 'secretive', I feel the need to tell everyone about this band. They're a 4-piece prog group out of Los Angeles. I use the word prog very loosely, because the band really doesn't fit into any one category. While the band has a metal heart (and sometimes thunderously so), their sound ventures all over the map, yet maintains a consistent and distinct sound unique to the band.
The Invalid opens with the space age and the futuristic keyboard sounds, like you would find on the "Blade Runner Soundtrack", with the song Fearless. These little sci-fi sounds pop up throughout the CD, and while at first I found it strange, I am now fully in love with them. "Disappear in You", the single off The Invalid, really showcases the bands ability go from mega-heavy to commercially savvy without ever making the listener scratch their head, and the video is pretty sweet to boot.
Lead singer June Park has a vocal style that is as broad and wide as the bands sound. On the song Silent Sin, I at first thought I was listening to some j-pop with the very smooth and sweet vocals before the tempo of the song picked up and her voice hammered away in a way similar to Lacy Mosley of Flyleaf. On guitar, Dan Durakovich showcases his technical prowess, and I swear Tommy Watson is destroying his drums when the band kicks it into high gear. Mark Valencia's bass playing fills all of the nooks and crannies in the songs, and many times is playing break-neck harmonies along with the guitar. The band is tight and shows mastery of their instruments.
As I mentioned, the keyboard/programming is very unique sounding, and it took a little while to get used to. Now that I have though, I can't imagine the songs on The Invalid without them. The cover art I don't get, but I bought the album for its killer tunes. Clandestine is a band that experiments and brings it home.
~ ~ ~
Live Long and Rock Hard, SpaceKev
SpaceKev's Rating: 8.75 out of 10