Yet another quirky, off-kilter pop band from Canada, Montreal's Clues recorded its eponymous debut at Arcade Fire's Petite Eglise studio late last year. Which makes sense, since Clues' multi-instrumentalist Brendan Reed was an early member of Arcade Fire, playing drums and singing on that band's debut EP.
Clues' self-titled debut, meanwhile, has a gritty, emotional feel to it--just the right mix of pathos and passion. Songs like "Remembered Severed Head" and "You Have My Eyes Now" are mini epics that feature just the appropriate amount of reverb and feedback, kind of like a less solemn Sonic Youth. Elsewhere, as on "Perfect Fit" and "Elope," this arty quintet strains for an orchestral pop that, well, may be a bit of a reach.
But, boy, is the act's cred in check: There's Reed, of course, and lead moaner Alden Penner (great name), too, who earned his indie-rock credibility while fronting The Unicorns. Sounding a bit more reserved these days, Penner's work with Clues allows him to rein things in a bit without maligning his artistic cool.
Of course, this isn't the only show with indie rock royalty ties this evening. There's Little Joy, of course, with its ties to The Strokes, but also this: Stardeath and White Dwarfs, who we wrote about when the band stopped through town in March (lead singer Dennis Coyne is Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne's nephew), stops by Good Records tonight at 8 p.m. for a free in-store as well.