'Clock Moves Forward'- Track Review
The band name intrigues, and the songs themselves simply out-stand.
Availability: 'Clock Moves Forward' is available on the E.P. 'Too Proud to Say Loud'- both available at: http://www.emute-music.com/release/too-proud-to-say-loud
Sounding somewhere between Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Foo Fighters, and Depeche Mode, is how the E.P. has been described...
Which is quite an uncommon mix of D.N.A. It promises wealthy and prosperous progeny, capable of possessing the brains, brawn and sensitivity to supersede the benchmark of Alpha Male, and show the musical world how it done, once and for all. There is much promise afoot, to be sure. I have been faced with a full squad of variably-talented musical players, each one promising to play their socks off, but only a select few proving to be worth their weight in gold. There has been some fascinating flicks, volleys, mazzy runs and stunning finishes, but I have been searching for that 'special one'. Perhaps fiscally-conditioned, or reflective of the season and mood, I have been immersed more deeply in classic '70s rock and the likes of The Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin and Queen for a little while. Between them they bristle with tension and sexual intrigue; they ignite, punch and rouse the spirit, invoking a defiant grin. In modern circles there are few direct comparables. There are one or two bands on the nucleus of the mainstream, who has flecks of the greats, with a little bit of 'that certain something' thrown in for fair measure. However, there has been a scarcity of bands and acts emanating forth, that are truly inspiring, and implore you to pick up pen, paper and guitar and get writing.
A new treat to my ears, E-MUTE seem likely to steal a little breath and cause exciting twitching amongst your devotees of a classic era, and those hunting for a fresh and vibrant new sound. The band is an inter-gender mix of London friends. The members. have between them, previously worked with the likes of Moby and The Drifters, and note that their sound is a mixture of "great melodies, dark edgy rock, electronica, and philosophical lyrics". Seems like an intriguing and impressive mission statement, and one that they are able to live up to. Their E.P. arrived last year, and has been gaining steady following, and much plaudit from music lovers and critics. There has been a fervent stretching of combined arms from the general music populous, in awe of the group's 5-song wonder piece. The entire E.P. is a little shy of 16 minutes and is impressively tight, focused and a beautiful homunculus. I was bowled over and blown away by the consistency of their sound, and the impressive pitches, turns, surprises and knock-out punches. 'Clock Moves Forward' is the first song on the E.P. and their latest release. With an apropos title and infectious drive, I was captivating and buckled myself down prepared to experience the magic of E-MUTE.
There is a little chaos and unrest within the intro. The percussion enters expeditiously, presenting an electrifying and pragmatic mood to proceedings. The guitars join the sway, and between the two set the floor alight with merry abandon; clicking heels, kicking up dust and forgetting how many drinks they've had. If anything there is a slight air of an Irish Jig to the rhythm and pattern. It slower and more syncopated but has the same sort of canter to it. There is also a appropriate sense of time keeping to the intro too. The seconds count down quickly, and inject a palpable excitement and urgency to the track. There is a little bit of The Smiths, a smidge of early Muse, as well as a slight nod to Queen of the Stone Age's 'Run Pig Run'. Before a single word has been sung, there is an instant and instantly likable sense of fun, misadventure and metaphysical storytelling. As the gay swing and dance abates, the vocal enters the room. It is smooth and luxurious; a most pleasing and assured tone. Maybe a bit of Depeche Mode at first, but perhaps enamoured with a lighter and more uplifting hue. There is a steady and endeavouring bass-line, backing up our front man and waiting to wade into action. The simmering electricity that has been bubbling and spitting above the parapet subsides for now, and the lyrics do the talking. There are ruminations of mystery and intrigue?: "Who can tell/When the game begins?", the vocal becomes almost acidotic in its lip-licking super-villainy. Our hero almost winks as he sings, proffering a smooth and interchanging bow wave of emotion and wonderment. The chorus shares some common ground with the chorus in terms of time signatures and temperament. There is a slight elevation as the words: "The clock moves forward/As life goes back" are brought forth, the band producing a punchy tick-tock in the background, before choppy and energetic guitars leap forth. For the repetition of the verse, the percussion is king, presenting a sturdy and self-fulfilling prophecy of mood bait and switch, that supports and counterbalances our protagonist where appropriate. As the chorus comes back full circle, there is a slight scene change, as a repeated mantra of "don't worry" is offered up. The words here are elongated and weighted, allowing extra resonance. The band are up to the challenge and are not immutable at first, staying consistent and studied. Then, as you are expecting a repetition of verse, or a guitar break, the chorus is reintroduced unexpectedly, proving quite efficient in its ambitions: to propel the mood and momentum, but at the same time catch you off guard and fire up the senses. It does just that, as you are expecting a slight sedation, but instead are gifted with the chorus, and as the vocals, that beautiful and curious intro is repeated to the end.
Having been a new follower of the band up until last week, I had no preconceived notions or expectations. I was fascinated by their colours, fashion and style, and was keen to listen with open ears. Where they have pointed at possible influences, you can hear bits here and there. The vocal has a little Depeche, but as noted, it is a more mercurial, lighter and honeyed when required. The band as a whole have the inventiveness and intelligence of The Smiths, and have a similar sense of sonic exploration. The lyrics are clever and memorable, and very much on message. There are perhaps fewer individual words than you'd expect. It is the way E-MUTE employ and disseminate the lyrics that provides the focus. The chorus is repeated to great effect and provides a great twist towards the end of the song. On that note, the bookend guitar piece provides great consistency and foresight and means that the tracks does not veer or continue to run for longer than it needs to. The entire song is 2:48, and it feels tight, leaving you wanting more after it has ended.
The modern music scene is obviously very busy. There are different coloured corners and avenues, and depending upon which direction you walk, will determine what you hear. There are a few indie/rock bands who have an intelligent design, and a professional and exciting sound, but there are not as many as there should be. To that end, there are also not many who reach the heights that are displayed on 'Clock Moves Forward' and indeed the sister E.P. 'Too Proud to Say Loud'. The band have a lot of ideas and different stories to tell, and I am looking forward to another E.P. or album, already. I would suggest you listen to their E.P. and find out what all of the fuss is about. They are young, brave, stylish and recession-proof. If you like your music with doses of fascination and wit, as well as pleasing shades of the masters of the genre, then check out E-MUTE, as they will be on the rise throughout 2013. As the sun is shining, and Spring may well not be a distant memory after all, what better time than to check out our London lot...
... and warm your heart and mind.