Team Clermont-Fletcher began in early 2012 as a basement project between English brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and their Chicagoan friend Tom Fry. Since then, the group has been steadily creating an incredible buzz as one of rock music’s new, relevant acts. The band has developed a strand of new-age British Rock with quirky melodies and brain tingling music. Insisting on sticking to a three-piece, Fletcher has created a vigorous and chemistry-driven connection between each member.
Their release details have a hard time comparing them to other acts, as their sound is so different. They’ve heard names such as The Flaming Lips, Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Kooks, Kings of Leon, The Strokes – but nobody can quite figure their influence. They like it that way evidently. Oscar Baker might not be the rock star that Johnny Borrell is but his vocals are easily on par. There is a coy appeal to their sound and delivery and you can def hear the resemblences to The Artic Monkeys and Razorlight. I’ll stop here with the references and let you hear for yourself. I’m in queue for the this April 9th self release date and hope to review the entire record then.
The End Men start off “Play With Your Toys” by Cleaning Your Mind. The first track is a haunting chant with the unmistakeable voice of singer-songwriter Matthew Hendershot delivering a lecture to get your head right. Now Hendershot’s voice has been compared to Tom Waits which I can accept. He’s a crooner that showcases his sound via the two piece approach in live settings. He is joined by the very talented Livia Ranalli on drums, percussions, toys, vox, other noise makers.
Sound likes: warm fuzzed out guitars, great acoustic boomy drums, grooving purposeful bass lines, raspy storytelling vox, interesting song arrangements, unpredictable, stellar percussive ideas.
The Brooklyn based duo have a devilish lure about them. Hendershot channels a villain storyteller from a Disney movie who’d do well in pairing with filmmaker Tim Burton to create a gloomy storyboard. Track 4 “Into The Mine” is a fascinating composition that projects a male version of Cinderella’s Lady Tremaine or maybe a down and out Jafar sitting on some rolled up oriental rugs smoking squares in beat up attire.
The End Men are garage-rock pioneers on a time warp circus tour telling warm sounding stories. Forget the snake oil people this is as real as it gets. Play With Your Toys is your spring-summer BBQ soundtrack.
Land Lines is a Colorado based strings band. The players are Martina Grbac, Anna Mascorella and Ross Harada. Their 11 track release under the same name is a collection of very live sounding works.
Sounds like: bright tamborines, cellos, two part female harmonies, plucked strings a very different sound from bowing, short and percussive rather than sustained-pizzicato, straight ahead songs, militant drumming, bells.
I especially like their very acoustic sound sans electricity. Martina Grbac’s voice carries the tonality of Dolores O’Riordan‘s. The approach is very safe in terms of progression. They tend to stay in the same key too much for my liking. I keep waiting for the sonic palette to change and would love to hear some electronica somewhere underneath it all. The trio makes up for these simple shortcomings with very dynamic songs and vocals. They appear to be happy with “instruments, books and hot water” and what else do you really need right?