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The Ivory Coast
Polyvinyl Record Co.

Clouds is The Ivory Coastís follow-up to 2000ís praised The Rush Of Oncoming Traffic, and is another enjoyable showcase for the bandís style of melodic and witty indie rock. The Boston five-piece has been playing many of the songs from Clouds live for quite some time, touring with the likes of Girls Against Boys, Buffalo Tom, Rainer Maria, Jets To Brazil, and several others. As a result, some of the tracks capture the intensity of the bandís live show, with songs like "Swope," "To My Brilliant Wigmaker" and "Taking Up Serpents" standing out as the heaviest rockers, with garage-like amplifier sounds and heavy bursts of feedback.

On the other hand, the addition of full-time keyboard player Scott Craggs has allowed the band to tackle a more textured sound, such as on the lovely "Things A Sword Would Say." Poppier songs like "Five Little Graves" and "Traveler" will lodge themselves in your head all day, but arenít as intriguing as the more rock-oriented moments. "Daily Routine" stands out on its own, a home-recorded acoustic number with touches of distorted percussion and trumpets, which holds Jay Coxís songwriting skills up for everyone to see. The opener, "Lake Placid 1986," features a distorted drum and synth intro, leading into drumming and singing that is furious, yet careful not to overpower the pulsing bass line, swerving guitars and touches of synthesizer. While the closing "There Will Be Clouds" somehow manages to spend fifteen minutes transforming from a three-minute pop song into a spacey, atmospheric improvisation, all without getting as boring and drawn-out as you might expect.

Clouds is poppy and accessible enough to get you to hum along, yet spacey enough, with just enough surprising twists and turns, to keep things interesting. The twists come from having five guys with unique musical tastes coming together and creating something truly fresh and interesting. With Clouds, every musician manages to stand out, with every instrument and vocal making itself heard and refusing to be buried by everything else that is going on.

ó Eddie Fournier

Track Listing:

  1. Lake Placid 1986
  2. Five Little Graves
  3. Swope
  4. Things A Sword Would Say
  5. Sixty-five Percent
  6. Traveler
  7. To My Brilliant Wigmaker
  8. Daily Routine
  9. Taking Up Serpents
  10. There Will Be Clouds

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