Recommended by us on 13th November 2009.
Lazarus Clamp have been making music under this name for 15 years. ‘Against entitlement’ is their 5th long-player, and their first for Little Red Rabbit (previous recordings were issued on Amberley, Words and Works Rejected, Bearos, and Sorted). They have been described in a Drowned in Sound review as one of the “undiscovered, roughcut gems of British independent music.” They have played at SXSW, and at Summer Sundae, and with Giant Sand, Chris Brokaw, David Grubbs, Songs:Ohia, Laura Cantrell, Herman Dune, Bob Tilton, Ligament, Thee More Shallows, A Minor Forest, Last Harbour, and The New Year.The feel of the music is intimate, dynamic, and full of counter-intuitive little surprises. The influences of North American post-punk bands (e.g. fIREHOSE, Silkworm, Sonic Youth) tangle with folk sensibilities from both sides of the Atlantic (e.g. Waterson Carthy, Carter family) and a low-key commitment to articulate songwriting (e.g. Go-Betweens, Mountain Goats). What you’ll notice, however, is that they have a certain Englishness that sets them apart from the American bands to which they are most easily compared, and which at times might bring to mind a more angular and introspective take on The Mekons, or a less puppyish Broken Family Band.This record, right from the exuberant complexity of opener ’Stone beats this’, rewards multiple listens. The more you dig below the surface, the more you'll find a peculiarly English oddity - in the curious way the bass and drums interact in ‘Etymologist's lament’; in the sideways, awkward guitar solo that tries to escape from ‘Canon’; and in the elusive narratives which bind the songs to that halfstrident, half-joke, of a title. ‘Against entitlement’ is a record with a slow fuse, which makes a virtue of restraint - insectile, intertwining guitars rarely play chords, but instead dance around each other, needling and breaking out into beautiful off-beatpatterns. These tensions accumulate until they are finally released via the metronomic crunch of the oppressive I am the police.
Stone beats this
Hard work of simple things
Night of the steep learning curve
I am the police
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