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    Clearlake – “Cedars ” – [Domino Records]

    Bleak and despairing sophomore release from Sussex coast
    quartet articulately explores a personal inventory of
    madness, death, loss, self-loathing and resilient honor
    arrived at via lacerating wit. A document of heartbreak
    and the sensibilities of vulnerability amid drizzle-filled
    days of assumed and inevitable failure and self-depreciation
    (aided greatly by producer Simon Raymonde of COCTEAU TWINS) as
    confessed by frontman Jason Pegg, who elicits beauty in melan-
    choly and melancholy behind beauty from stalwart members Sam
    Hewitt (keyboards), David Woodward (bass), and James Butcher
    (drums)???..???The last thing you???re expecting when you???re
    looking for a window / is to see it look so grey??????
    [???Wonder if the Snow???] Strings drive tracks like ???The Mind is
    Evil??? with a harmonic tension, while a simplistic basic piano
    line fuels ???Keep Smiling???, giving to maleficent desire ???I???d Like
    to Hurt You??? and a soul-searching mitigation ???Trees in the City???.
    The juxtaposition of uplifting and wonderful arrangement with the
    coal-colored sentiment places Pegg???s alto to a reverent self-drama,
    competing with murals of feedback, keyboards and chanting
    (especially ???Come into the Darkness???) in a see-saw battle of
    greenery vs. metropolis (sample the inverted Golden Rule of selfish
    motivation inside ???Treat Yourself with Kindness???,,,,??????Do unto
    yourself as you might wish thy will be done by someone else??????)
    Melodic and majestic to the drenching limit (with superb use of
    minor keys throughout)and conceived by the band in France and
    Brighton, the edge here is lyrical atop a bed of raw and evocative
    sonics ??? gorgeous melodics in support of forensic observations.
    MITCH January 2004

  • Reviewed by mitch on January 16, 2004 at 12:49 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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