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- Odditties by The Clean
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The Clean are so great that when they played the (now sadly defunct) Brighton Freebutt a couple of years ago I just stood there in tearful awe that I’d actually got to see one of my all time favourite bands and then traipsed around like a shell-shocked kid afterwards, clutching a crumpled xeroxed poster and a ticket to get autographed still not quite convinced I was actually on this Earth! Considering they’re amongst the most humble, down-to-earth musicians on the planet I don’t know why they have such an effect on me (and so many others).
This double set collects all 23 tracks from the slightly expanded Flying Nun issue of their first ever 1983 self released cassette and, amazingly, also marks the debut appearance of this remarkable archive treasure on the preferred medium of today’s obsessive music spod. It also reveals all the shambling lo-fi inner workings of many future early Clean classics - this is like one of those tantalising glimpses into a precious disintegrating sketchbook that scrappily showcases the tentative journeys into the imagination via the most basic medium, in this case a ton of surprisingly hardy-sounding 2-track demos that were captured between ‘80 - ‘82.
It’s a real treat to hear these charming, rattly off-kilter songs so lovingly re-mastered, this time for the supreme reigning analogue medium, this legendary three piece took almost a decade to get their act together and actually release a proper full studio album. If they hadn’t have re-grouped in the late ‘80s for ‘Vehicle’, this stunning collection of experiments and demos would have been the nearest thing you’d ever get to a full album, as it stands it is merely one of the few real seminal records to hear if you’ve even the slightest interest in the ever-expanding cult of NZ lo-fi worship which apparently sees no sign of ever abating (they borrowed the mastering Revox machine used on these recordings from the Dead C!). Hear these boys and their endearingly wonky, tuneless and heartfelt way with a song and you may just pick up a guitar like thousands of others will have been inspired to do.
Thanks to US Punk label 540 for doing such a respectfully thorough job on this re-issue, I nearly bought the CD a couple of months ago for too much money, glad I hesitated now...the gatefold sleeve plastered with all the early gig posters is a real joy to behold!!
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