Larman Clamor is the musical alias of respected German illustrator Alexander Von Wieding, better known for his dazzling album cover designs for everyone from Monster Magnet to Nuclear Assault than for composing albums of his own, such as 2012's Frogs. But imagine if Tom Waits hailed from the bayou (and imagine Germany has bayous, while you're at it) and you'll grasp the essence of Larman Clamor's backwoods troubadour working an intentionally lo-fi aesthetic, as songs like "Seven Slugs O' Water" and "Undead Waters" emerge from a leaky shotgun shack, as though recorded with a third-hand guitar plugged straight into a banged-up Fender Champ. Further comparisons that come to mind include Jack White minus the massive record sales and resultant supermodel wife ("Black Cylinder"), or a hung-over Jon Spencer ("The Mudhole Stomp," "Gordon's Gold") casually fumbling his slide across the strings. And then there's the title track's ramshackle boogie, which sounds like Billy Gibbons (the lecherous Gibbons of "La Grange") grappling with sputtering electricity, the spartan instrumental "Mill Wheel Alchemy," buoyed by bongos and bongs, and, well, you get the picture. Suffice to say that Frogs successfully paints a vivid character portrait through its rickety faux field recordings, and whether this will resonate with anyone beyond fellow weirdlings and like-minded outsiders is another matter. Chances are Larman Clamor isn't sweating it either way.
by Eduardo Rivadavia