Sunday, December 23, 2007

Clockcleaner: Babylon Rules (LP/CD) For a number of years and years ago, I was on the promotional mailing rolls of a large number of record companies. This was the tail end of the era when record companies only produced actual records. During those distant marijuana-clouded times, hardly a business day would pass when I did not receive a long-player or three in the mail. Therefore, I was much more qualified to compile my annual end-of-the-year record lists. These days I buy all my CDs and LPs. Regardless of the number of records I am able to get my hands upon, I will no doubt always compile these stupid “best of” lists. And in my mind, I continue to add to and rearrange my lists as I uncover new music and re-evaluate the old stuff. This year, re-evaluation has already begun and the year is not even done. No doubt I should have waited until January to post my ten. After listening to this one non-stop for a week, I believe I would plug the new record by this (new to me) band somewhere around the #6 position. Babylon Rules appears to be Clockcleaner’s third release and first full-length record. I have not heard the band’s previous efforts. The new one is a loud and relentless container full of noise, if not exactly a musical breakthrough. Much like so many of the new bands these guys (and a gal) are all about the old sounds, which does not bother this old fart. The sound of nothing happening was good enough for John Cale all those years ago, and it is still more than good enough for me. It does make me laugh to hear this stuff called “new” in any context other than that it was recently released. This very week, I was standing in line at my favorite coffee house. One of the young hipsters working behind the counter noticed I was holding CDs by Clockcleaner and another new generation punk/noise outfit called Om. My young friend made some comment about how I was “keeping up with the kids.” I should have said the kids were, in fact, keeping up with me. At least these annoying "kids" are keeping up with the sort of sounds I was listening to when I was an annoying 20-something artbrat. Though reputedly from Philadelphia, Clockcleaner builds upon the sound of such Australian -- Detroit-drenched -- outfits as Grong Grong and Scientists. The repetitious drone is a beautiful thing to these old ears, and fuck what the kids are doing. We love repetition. We love repetition. We love repetition.


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