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AAA Music | 24 April 2024

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Club Smith – The Process

| On 12, Jun 2010

Often you encounter new bands simply reinventing the wheel. Sometimes they invent the musical equivalent of jetpacks. And sometimes they seem to be making something somewhere in the middle, somewhat akin to those hovering lawnmowers, which is where I’ll abandon the analogy before I start going on a nonsensical gardening/transport tangent.

Club Smith are an art-rock band hot on the heels of Bloc Party and The Cure with a soft sugar twist to the sound hiding a sharp, thoughtful and pleasingly articulate bitterness concerning the personal side to modern life.

Their second EP, ‘The Process’, marries the yelping urgency of Bloc Party (albeit in a more palatable fashion) with a pseudo-classical melodic approach, the modern alt-rock sound and mood of bands such as Brand New in the well-executed quiet-loud dynamics, and a pervasive undercurrent of anxiety a la early Cure in wry, anxious lyrics.

‘The Green Room’ delivers a quick and punchy opening, displaying a sense of quirky indie in the handclaps and lolloping drums. This is joined by fretful vocals with keening harmonies, heavy momentum provided by the melodic bass and rhythmic guitars hidden behind a dense veil of feedback.

‘Causing Doubt’ slows the pace, opening with a lilting guitar and vocals, the clicking, lolloping percussion adding an oppressive lopsided feel to the tense atmosphere before hurtling into a powerful song that captures the heart and head and won’t let go. Arguably the standout track of this shining EP.

‘Do You Despair’ breaks from the needling rush of the previous tracks for a piano/bass intro leading to an almost classical melody carried off with aplomb, accompanied by deftly employed backing vocals.

‘Young Defeatists’ follows in the vein of the first two tracks, and could possibly have had a little more done to it to make it stand out, but given the overall high benchmark of quality, this could be much worse than I’m making it out to be.

Haunting falsetto vocals and clattering staccato drums blending with thick bass and claustrophobic guitars blending to create an enjoyably paranoid slab of modern post-punk rock.

The end provides one last thrill as the vocals fade out and create a tingle down the spine.

Club Smith aren’t creating a musical revolution yet, wearing their influences on their sleeves perhaps a little too obviously at times, however if they develop a little bit more confidence in their own style and play their cards right, they could prove to be laying the foundations of something truly sensational as the intelligent inventiveness can’t help but shine through alongside a tangible emotional heft and clearly proficient musicianship.

Author: Katie H-Halinski