Florida-based Clock Hands Strangle are releasing their debut full-length (on the heels of an ’07 EP), a gentle collection of indie rock tunes featuring primarily acoustic guitar and various rhythm-making instruments. And I can sum up the record in one word: Fascinating.
Starting with the opening cut off side one, “Redshift,” which feels like the kind of indie rock Modest Mouse used to make, but then suddenly inserts a brass section and takes a turn towards Califone territory. The second track, “Cemetery,” is light without being precious, and features a unique time signature—it’s feels slightly off-beat, perhaps due to the shaking and seemingly random plinks of what sounds like a cowbell. On “My Brain,” where thoughts sting and die, the band laments . . . Something. But I’m not sure what. I have to listen again and again to try to figure it out, but every time the music sucks me into this mystical vortex . . . This is great stuff. It reminds of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, only much more interesting (to me, I know most of you are probably tremendous Wilco fans).
Overall, the album has an instantly classic feel, but at the same time is fresh and undated. Songs change style, effortlessly and frequently, both between tracks and even within themselves. Check it out.