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By Jason Crider
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:01 PM
After a little over a year of laying low and writing and recording, local indie duo Click Track have surfaced with their fresh debut album, Memories, an eclectic assortment of tracks featuring a quite dynamic range of musical influences, all centered around a chameleonic synthesizer, sort of like MGMT’s addictive debut.
Click Track doesn’t sound like MGMT, though, and this album is, to put it bluntly, all over the place, but that’s not necessarily a negative thing.
Take for example the track, “Lucky 7s,” which opens with some ephemeral synth atmosphere, then bleeds into a simple Pixies-style drum and bass beat that turns into a poppy chillwave chorus before enveloping into a synth part that is vaguely similar to an old Super Nintendo game soundtrack.
Or maybe consider the album’s opening track, “Dangerous Children,” a song rife with simple guitar hooks and upbeat drums that gets delightfully interrupted by a pulsing synth rhythm before going on an all-out surf rock binge.
This album has all of the tambourine, poppy vocal melodies and buoyant drums you could ask for, mixed with a generous dose of fun and quirky synthesizer. At times, though, this synth rock indie outfit will make you feel as though you’re stuck on the final boss battle of a Sega Genesis game, particularly on the track “March of the Polka Waltz” or in the Mega Man X vibes on “Lucky Number 7s.” But is all of that such a bad thing?
One of my favorite tracks on this record, “Driving Through Downtown,” is a pretty delightful amalgamation of Bright Eyes and early Final Fantasy RPGs, and if you’ve played any of the latter and listened to any of the former, you can probably realize how the deep feelings of sadness and longing inherent in both could really complement each other, and that is the exact niche that Click Track have nestled themselves so snugly into.
So what does this band have to offer besides abundant synthesizer and video game nostalgia?
Well, for one, the first few tracks have a pretty fun and welcoming indie feel to them, and the second-to-last song, “Tiny Island,” has a rather interesting retro vibe to it, as well.
“AKA Lions” opens with an off-putting and quite literal lion’s roar, like the start of an MGM film, but it’s easy to get past once you sink into the jungle background harmonies and sweet xylophone synth melody.
And, of course, title and closing track “Memories” will warm the heart of any Modest Mouse fan as the simple guitar hook and vocal harmony are kissed by a warm electronic wave, subtly reminding you of the messy and exciting album you just listened to.
As far as freshman releases go, Memories is far from perfect, but it is an exciting first step made by a very promising young band. The big question you may have to confront is whether or not all of the inlaid synth-pop nostalgia will bother you, because if not, you’ve got a pretty cool new indie band to foster some local support for.
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