Slow Claw

Grandfather Clocks

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"Slow Claw is Chris, Brian & Bob," reads a friendly, if uninformative note on the back of the band's debut album, Grandfather Clocks, which consists of eight tracks running 30 minutes. If the note does not tell much, it at least establishes that Slow Claw is a trio, and that is also apparent on the album, which features guitar/bass/drum arrangements that demonstrate the bandmembers have developed a rock style to deal with their instrumental limitations. This is not a power trio in the Cream or Jimi Hendrix Experience sense, but rather a rock trio as kinetic, light-on-their-feet dueling soloists, more in the manner of the Police or the Jam. The drummer in particular is reminiscent of the Police's Stewart Copeland in his combination of ferocity and restraint. Above the music, a lead singer recalls the bleating tenor of Jerry Garcia, if with a slightly huskier edge. Two songs, "Colorado" and the closer, the plaintive "Self Erased," boast an acoustic guitar, and sometimes there are other instruments and even a studio full of partying singalong guests at one point. But Slow Claw is more about the interaction of the three musicians at this point than it is about anything else. The songs are excuses to play together, but this is a debut that shows promise.

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