Clock Opera - 'Ways To Forget' (UK Release: 23 April '12) // Words: Saam Das
In November 2009, I described Guy Connelly as potentially the next Tom Vek. Over the next few years, he broadened and honed his skills with three other fine musicians, including producing the odd jaw-dropping remix in his spare time. The wait is finally over and Clock Opera's 'Ways To Forget' is one of the finest debuts of the year thus far.
Connelly and company craft their songs in a manner once (and for all) deigned as "chop-pop", whereby sounds and instruments are culled and melded from a variety of sources - something of a post-modernist version of sampling. Their songs are progressive but Clock Opera are not afraid of embracing pop elements either, as the string of anthems on 'Ways To Forget' demonstrates.
Their sound metamorphoses constantly on the album from the bubbly experimental pop in the vein of 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'-era Animal Collective on 'White Noise' to an Elbow-inspired earnest on 'Move To Mountains'. The height of their melodramatic popular song is perhaps best captured on expansive album opener, 'Once And For All'. The manner in which it soars so magnificently signifies the majesty of a band like Clock Opera.
The juxtapositions, intricacies and contradictions do not obstruct the album's progress, although the transitions between tracks do not work quite as well, making the album feel more like a collection of disparate tracks. Indeed, it is the more traditional formulaic aspects that stumble somewhat, such as the rock-orientated 'Lesson No.7', and the Coldplay-esque 'The Lost Buoys'. The few weak links on an otherwise fascinating album.
'Ways To Forget' cements Clock Opera's reputation as one of the most innovative bands in the UK at this moment in time. It is an album of flair and ambition, splendidly juxtaposed with an accessible pop outlook. Guy Connelly sings on the marvellously euphoric 'Belongings', "you give me something that I can believe in". Believe in Clock Opera.
'Ways To Forget' is available to purchase from Amazon.co.uk. Find more info at clockopera.com.