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Gospel Claws
C-L-A-W-S
Common Wall Media/Modern Art
www.gospelclaws.com


Hailing from Tempe, Arizona, Gospel Claws delivers a blend of gospel-and-surf-tinged indie pop, with some '50s style guitar licks and Joel Marquard (formerly of Dear And The Headlights) contributing his smooth soulful croon.

On "Summer Nights Lakeside" the light breeziness and chiming glockenspiel belies some downer lyrics, "If you take me down to the lake, I'll drown you if you ask me to/I know you're sad and you want to die, but I know I can change your mind/No worries, no school, it's summertime." On "Stars In My Heart", Marquard lets loose and his wailing is nicely accompanied by soaring guitar.

"Somebody Stole My Money" is an Appalachian old-timey accapella tale of woe, while "Need For Speed" is a perverse, gauzy dreamscape. Ironic for its title, this feels like the Beach Boys on quaaludes; slow motion and psychedelic, it picks up partway through, propelled by driving percussion and guitar melodies.

The band features Joel Marquard (vocals/guitar), Sloan Walters (vocals/keys), Wesley Hilsabeck (guitar), John Mulhern (bass), and Scott Hall (drums). Their debut full length, C-L-A-W-S, is set for release on Arizona-based Common Wall Media/Modern Art.

-Julie Stoller

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