The Clauberg Opera - The Death of This City
By Steve Rudd
Yet another fantastically original Hull-based band to get hugely excited about, this young and thoroughly refreshing trio is not to be ignored... especially not with the type of manifesto that they are proudly presenting.
In this invigorating instance they come armed with five tracks that are spread
over half an hour's worth of quality playing time. Inspired and influenced,
seemingly, by everything that they have ever collectively listened to
(citing the music of bands as coolly diverse as Metallica, The Smiths and Grandaddy
as having had an effect on them in its own way), The Clauberg Opera aren't
like your average rock band. No, no.
These guys have also been moved to emulate many of the standards that the Dogme
movement in cinema has embraced. For example, they are determined not to let themselves as
performers ever to be regarded as being more important than the art they are so passionately
producing, and one way they do this is by attempting to remain semi-anonymous.
Yes, in Slipknot style they mask their faces (to an extent) with bandannas.
Oh, and all three band members have adopted stage-names too - with J Mayhem (on guitars,
intermittent vocals, keyboards and samples), Cidney Sorry (on drums, intermittent vocals,
keyboards and samples) and Von (who provides the crucial bass grooves) assuming their
Another thing: Each instrument is treated as an unlimited creative tool.
Just as it should be, and such a concept is evident through all their
instrumental-orientated songs, especially in their Winterkill masterpiece
where the lo-fi-styled drum and guitar interplay works a monumental treat.
Not a band to do anything by halves, their 10-minute epic in The Coming of The Waters
literally takes your breath away, metaphorically smothering the listener if they
aren't careful to come back down to reality. Subtly engrossing and moodily
captivating in style, the guitar melody-based atmosphere conjures up some
deep and dark emotions that are rarely encountered in music made by other bands,
a fact that further marks The Clauberg Opera way out from the crowd...
from any peers that they potentially have in and around Hull.
As for their EP-closing Sky Obscured By Mist track, this boldly incorporates some samples and a
beautifully-conceived song structure that bears much in common with the genius of Mogwai and
their uniquely exhilarating music.
This CD was recorded live, and the band openly admits that the resultant sound is imperfect,
harsh and trashy.
It's meant to be this way, because in this way they believe their music
to be all the more honest and exciting through being so on-the-spur and spontaneous.
Whoever these guys really are, they are alleged to have been playing together (in musical
circles) since they were nine years old. And boy, are they now in a band to watch - and a
band clearly to savour. For a band of this caliber comes around but once in a blue moon. 5/5
Album Reviews - The Clauberg Opera - The Death of this City By Michelle Dee
Is The Clauberg Opera's foreboding CD title, The death of this city, prophesising the end of Hull?
It could be describing the very nature of urban society where all cohesion is lost to poisonous,
suspicious, insular, ideologies. When does a city actually die?
Album Reviews -
The 59 Violets - Prime Numbers By Steve Rudd
First things first, a bit of vital number crunching: the debut album from North Lincolnshire's
va-va-vooming 59 Violets four-piece is 40 minutes long and spread over 11 fantastic songs.
Each and every track is moulded around some superb melodies, as these boys wield both the
Single Reviews Torso Horse - The Invisible Event
(eight-track album/ Native) By Steve Rudd Release Date: Nov 1st 2004
Over the past four years, Bridlington band Torso Horse has truly - and deservedly -
dominated the Goth-Metal scene in East Yorkshire in style.
This uncompromising eight-track release is their second album, and the eagerly anticipated
follow-up to their rapturously
Single Reviews - Ox - Blood (mini-album/ Co-Pop) By Steve Rudd
Release Date: November 1st 2004.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside when super-talented acoustic-based duos in the
shape of Ox materialise from towns such as Brighton, as Oxband
members in multi-instrumentalists Jim Oxborrow and John Etkin-Bell have.
Jim sings, with his sensitive voice being
Single Reviews - Hoobastank - The Reason (Mercury) By Steve Rudd
It's been almost impossible to avoid this radio-friendly tune over the past few weeks, as it
has literally taken the world by storm. Over in the US it was the Number One airplay
record for five weeks, before basking in the glory of being the Number Three most
played track in
Album Reviews - Joesolo - An Exile In Suburbia By Nick Quantrill
History lesson - Lithium Joe were much more than graffiti on the Hull train
station wall. Whilst the majority of Hull bands are happy to settle for receiving meaningless
platitudes from their mates and being great in the local clubs,
Lithium Joe was different.
CD Reviews -
Khi (6-track Demo) By Steve Rudd
This quartet's high-octane How Would I Know anthem might thematically speak of all the time that
people tend to waste in life, during non-productive days that serve nobody and nothing.
To the contrary, this hugely exciting Hull band (that has been on the go for some years
Single Reviews -
Mansun - Slipping Away (EMI) By Steve Rudd
Brace yourselves, for this is the last-ever single release from those
loveable Chester-based boys. Sadly, they decided to call it a day whilst
recording their fourth, as-yet-unreleased album.
On the upside though, and to help die-hard fans get over the initial
loss, Mansun are
Album Reviews -
The Composers - Evacuate London (8-track demo) By Steve Rudd
Compose yourself, for the music on offer here from this East London-rooted band is most excellent.
Opening track Evacuate London is a jingle-jangling shot of down-to-earth,
lovelorn pop music of the highest caliber, with Dan Edelstyn leading the quintet
Album Reviews -
Ron Sexsmith - Retriever (Parlophone) By Steve Rudd
Ever since the early 90's, and the 1991 release of Grand Opera Lane, Ron
has been making sublime music - and has even had some of his songs covered
by the superstar likes of Rod Stewart and Elton John.
This 12-track album is a beautifully conceived affair, and a mixture of
Single Reviews - The Departure - Be My Enemy (EMI) By Steve Rudd
Northampton dudes The Departure are dutifully setting the rock 'n' roll-loving nation
alight with their upbeat and hugely melodic brand of excellence.
Would you be my enemy? It's easier that way!, sings versatile vocalist David Jones,
as the band behind him