The members of Clor intelligently used the indie-rock dance floor as the launching pad for their debut (and, sadly, what may be their final recording; Clor broke up in May). The British bands that have arranged themselves into the aural background for anyone living in England (or fascinated by British music) have been receiving twice the lifespan on dance floors — the first time around as the single from the record, the second (and sometimes third) time as electronic-heavy remixes; the Futureheads saw Phones’ remix of “Hounds of Love” receive as much play from deejays as the album version did.
Taking inspiration from (and paying tribute to)’80s electronic bands such as Devo, Human League that laid the groundwork for today’s indie-rock/electronic music and guidance from more recent explorations of indie-rock and its relationship with electronic elements, Clor created a record that stands out despite the uber-hyping of anything indie and British.
Opener “Good Stuff” is born from noise similar to a glam-metal band’s final burst of live energy; electro-bass drums thump through the dying noise and push bystanders aside to make room for the rest of Clor to follow. It’s a smart and entertaining introduction, showing the talents of the band without coming across as too synth heavy or riff reliant. The first half of the record showcases the talents of the members and their ability to have fun without coming across as cheesy — quite a remarkable achievement.
Clor continues along with solid songwriting given depth by the arrangement of the synths, bass, guitars and jarring yet comfortably placed electronic and vocal elements all the way up until “Gifted,” just before the album’s halfway point. The energy drops and, in some ways, so does the focus. Clor has a number of entertaining and inviting songs in the final tracks, but nothing that quite lives up to first four tracks, which grabbed my attention, made me smile, and reminded me that indie-dance music can have substance.
Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/clor