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Clouds On Strings - For You, for Me, for the Sake of a Name CD (album) cover


Clouds On Strings


Eclectic Prog

3.49 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Clouds On Strings are a new American band who seem to have diverse influences, both old and new. This is their first album which I listened to on their Bandcamp site. I'm surprised that nobody has at least rated this yet. It's a good album and gets better the more I listen to it. The line-up consists of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and violin. The guitarist and the bassist both sing. The music on this album sounds like a mix of old school prog and some more modern rock influences.

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a concept album or not, but judging from the artwork and song titles, you would almost think so. "For You, For Me" is a short instrumental. It opens with crowd noises and then goes into 1950s style mellow rock. Nice tremoloed guitar. Short but sweet. "Gameshow Jesus" starts out a rockin' song with some great violin. Then it goes into a groove with handclaps as well as synth and guitar trading licks. All of a sudden piano and vocals appear. Almost sounds like Joe Jackson. Nice mellow rock. Later gets more rockin'. I like how it almost goes reggae near the end before morphing into hard rock. More symphonic sounding at the end.

"Thin Lizard Dawn" begins laid-back and melodic. Then some gong and then vocals and atmospheric synths. Changes to a hard rock part before a great riff on modified bass. The music now gets almost prog metal sounding. Then changes to some kind of polka(!). Later on a slow paced rockin' part that reminds me of the Walkmen. "Onward To The Ravine" has a nice mix of banjo, synth and fast hi-hat along with vocals at first. Gets slightly jazzier. Good guitar playing later on. In the middle is just guitars and vocals. Then drums join in. Later chorused guitar and some harmony back-up vocals. Some slow marching type drumming before some drum fills.

"The Ranger" opens with percussion and then a funky groove and vocals. Cool cowbell. Awesome synth sounds here. The synth plays in unison with the vocals at times. The song does a start/stop thing in the middle with some good organ. Two different vocalists here. Near the end it switches to a Floyd sounding blues-rock part. Includes some shredding style playing during the guitar solo. False ending. "The Iconoclast" picks up where the last song left off with the same section but now with vocals, including some echoed. After an instrumental break the tempo increases slightly when the vocals return. Later just cool synth sounds and guitar. Some backwards something can be heard. Finishes with the same Floydian blues-rock part.

"Kings & Queens" starts with a heavy riff and then intricate keyboard playing. Goes into a mid-paced song with vocals. Goes back to the heavy riff with echoed yelling. In the middle is some good guitar, piano and drumming. Later a polka-type beat and vocals mimicing the guitar. You hear the crowd from the first song and then some lovely symphonic string- synths that get stopped, echoed and then sped up. This album unfortunately is very short at under 33 minutes, but sometimes a short album can be better than a longer one.

The sound and production is really well done. The compositions are very good. The playing is decent but nothing really stands out. It's really hard to describe what these guys sound like (hence their inclusion in Eclectic I presume). You will just have to listen for yourself. A really good first effort, I'll give this a 3.5 but round it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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