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Clean - More Or Less The Truth

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 15 / 9 / 2002



Clean - More Or Less The Truth
Label: Sugar Shack
Format: CD

intro

Inconsistent, but occasionally infectious debut album from Swiss pop triphop group who have decamped to Bristol


Last year the news swept around Bristol that Portishead had decamped to New Zealand to complete the recording of their long-rumoured third album. Evidently the high life in the metropolitan hubbub of the contemporary West Country was too much for their delicate constitutions. Clean have made a similar journey in reverse, having travelled from Switzerland to the heart of the West Country to further their musical ambitions. Now settled in at Bristol's Sugar Shack Records they have crafted a rather fascinating debut album. Opener 'Stronger Man', casually namechecking Rocky Marciano, swings into the air like a happier Depeche Mode, and although it's often difficult to decipher the lyrical content it's a perfectly good opener to the album. 'Right Now' adds further confusion to the mix by laying down a very 90's rhythm track replete with sampled scratches, ending up as a fairly poppy affair. It's no Aphex, and the inlaid samples do seem a bit clumsy at first, but it's a grower. The single, 'Room 16', is in the same vein, with a similarly captivating central chorus and some dodgy film samples as garnish. Funnily enough, the vocals on this track sound decidedly Welsh, although it's probably just a by-product of the Swiss-Bristolian crossover. On a couple of the tracks, without the infectious choruses to lift the thing, they start to sound a bit too much like Jesus Jones for their own good, and that's where it ultimately falls down. The outstanding moments are on the tracks with the catchy tunes, and the rest is just not satisfying. The whole middle of the album is quite disappointing compared to the soaraway openers, with tracks like the instrumental 'Billiard', which is OK, but wouldn't have sounded out of place on one of those rock-dinosaur-does-electronica albums of a few years ago. A couple of the closing tracks ('Cleaner' and 'Game') recall the promise of the earlier songs, but it's just too hit-and-miss to be recommended overall. Clean are inconsistent on this showing, with some storming if fairly pop-sounding vocal indie-elctronica-lite, but a lot of it tends to sound like it's all been done before.



Track Listing:-
1 Stronger Man
2 Right Now
3 Room 16
4 Under
5 Over U
6 Say
7 Hilliard
8 Cleaner
9 Game
10 White Paradise
11 Strange Journey



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