not a member? click here to sign up
Ways to forget
Remix guru gets his rock groove on but fails to impress
Paul Nolan, 17 May 2012
Clock Opera is the new project from Guy Connelly, an in-demand remixer who has reworked tracks for a range of excellent acts such as Feist, Everything Everything and The Drums. Unfortunately Connelly’s latest venture – which finds him collaborating with three other musicians in a band format – lacks the tastefulness of those artists, with Clock Opera favouring a kind of sweeping electro-rock that frequently strives for an anthemic feel, but too often gets bogged down in bluster and bombast.
Opener ‘Once And For All’ is a case in point. A widescreen electro-rock effort with arena-sized ambitions, it has more in common with the blandness of Coldplay than, say, the kinetic energy of Arcade Fire. ‘Lesson No 7’ is actually an explicit attempt at emulating the latter act, with pounding drums, frantic guitars and Connelly’s best Win Butler impersonation, but it ultimately falls short of the high standards set by the Montreal outfit.
Much more like it is ‘11th Hour’, which morphs from ethereal dream-pop into juddering punk funk and has echoes of both Wild Beasts and Talking Heads. ‘Man Made’ also starts out promisingly with ‘80s-style electro-pop grooves, but is let down by a disappointing chorus, which contains plenty of blaring noise but little in the way of melodic finesse.
The deficiencies of Ways To Forget are perhaps best summed up by ‘Belongings’, which contains all of the clichés common to bands of Clock Opera’s ilk. It starts out as a somewhat mundane piano ballad, and gradually builds in intensity until the drums crash in for the obligatory “epic” finale.
No doubt there are those who will swoon over the band’s torch songs but for me Clock Opera fail to hit the high notes.