CLAPS: WRECK Review
I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about Minneapolis band CLAPS’ last handful of recent EP’s. I couldn’t pinpoint why they didn’t resonate with me but chalked it up to the fact that eighties-derived synth pop has never been my number one choice of genres. I have to eat crow to a certain extent though after finally hearing the threepiece’s debut full length. WRECK is definitely a huge improvement and a giant step forward for the band. Part of that progress is by way of the band’s addition of a bass (which Sara Abdelaal plays), which lends the sound more definitive structure. And part of it is simply that the band has written better songs.
WRECK is made up of nine tracks – all comprised primarily of Jed Smentek’s moodily dark analog synth sequences. Singer Patrick Donohoe complements Smentek’s synths (and Abdelaal’s bass) with an emotive croon that recalls Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith. Wreck’s sound ranges from the ominous Kraftwerk-esque beats of “Across The Floor,” to the more upbeat, dance-oriented cadences of “Final Time” and “Until Today.” Even at their most upbeat though CLAPS maintain a melancholy, heart-on-the-sleeve sense of grimness that is much in keeping with the style of their forbearers (Duran Duran, Joy Division, etc). You don’t have to be a angsty teenage goth to enjoy CLAPS’ catchy melodies today – but doubtless if you were one back in the eighties you might have an even deeper sense of appreciation.
— Jon Behm
CLAPS will be releasing WRECK this Friday at the Hexagon Bar (or 8/16 online at Guilt Ridden Pop)