Take the grunge of Nirvana and the funk of Red Hot Chilli Peppers garnished with that bluesy Northumberland valour, stir well, and you will behold a concoction that defines Rock outfit Clippah, a tight-knit bunch of friends, who, reaching the winter of their 20s backed by a global pandemic, had the brainwave to initiate an album individually, knowing the precious time would come when they could pool their ideas together in-person to elicit their first seven track album Explode, released August 2nd, 2021.
Some songs had an airing live in days gone back and received rejuvenation. Most are box-fresh, and, although the band intended to be blithe in tone, their Deep South rumblings are still evident, especially in opener Subtle Kind and its repetitive hay chewing riff and Hip Hop rhythm sailing to meet its moshy conclusion, and Poor Boys turning their face away from the harsh light of ageing: "And the needle hit the wax on an old 45, you're playing looser with the facts every day you're alive."
“As we near the end of our twenties, this album might be the musical representation of our most youthful times spent together. It follows a narrative, in that respect: starting with a lot of angst, ending with an almighty come down, and it’s over before you know it, though hopefully you’re left wanting more!” Clippah lay it out.
Like Corpse Bride's Remains of the Day, The Surface surfaces with a razmataz, tapdance beat and a sunnier, classic Indie Rock arrangement, with ace bass, signifying a bird freed from its cage and obligations to survive: "And to the surface where you'll stay." Number Beneath the Waves, placed before the resolution of The Surface, toys with playful reinforcement in the design of call and response chorus from the lads
Frontman Alex Ayre, whose husked, distinctive voice you will be most accustomed to by now, affirms Lucky Ones - speedy words combinations and complimenting guitar composing - and the smokey Gut Check tackle Lockdown and the complexities of keeping a check on the health of one's mind and being present as a solid rock for pals.
There is humour in the fashioning of closer Eight Years, where a breather is sanctioned, and the genius frequented line, "Eight years I've been living in a dream, did anybody set an alarm?' flaunting the quirks of the quintet, who will be itching to take this on the road, calling in on their home turf bases of back rooms in champion pubs, lofty breweries and coastal festivals, drawing the crowd to their feet, salt air in hair and beer in hand; where they should be.
📷 Sel Maclean
Article by Beverley Knight