The Henry Clay People

Somewhere on the Golden Coast

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There's a charming familiarity to much of the Henry Clay People's third proper full-length, a familiarity perhaps best epitomized in its second track when frontman Joey Siara proclaims, with fist-pumping intensity, "We were working part time! All! The! Time!" It's a relatable moment, not only because most listeners have suffered a temporary job or seven, but because, like the vast majority of Somewhere on the Golden Coast, the song in question ("Working Part Time") cherry-picks tiny elements from indie rock's vast library of literate golden gods. Siara sings about the scene, like the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, gets sloppy and sentimental like Pavement's Stephen Malkmus, and carries a high-pitched authority like Built to Spill's Doug Martsch. All the while, his cohorts keep things from getting too serious with rollicking piano, stadium-ready power chords, and raucous shout-along backing vocals. It's a glorious mix that fails rarely, and usually only when things cool off too much or Siara steps back from front and center, where he is clearly, charismatically meant to exist. Like many no-frills rock & roll bands, the Henry Clay People are most effective when they're pushing things into the red. Luckily, Somewhere on the Golden Coast only barely tops the half-hour mark, so there's hardly time for the band to do otherwise.

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