Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Clap Clap Riot: Counting Spins (Universal)

Clap Clap Riot: Growing Up
Clap Clap Riot: Counting Spins (Universal)

Must be four years at least since I saw this fizzy, fiery post-punk pop outfit play one of their early gigs, so this debut album does seem rather long overdue. Although it has been anticipated by some singles (three I think, among them the terrific top-down-highway pop-rock of Yoko Ono which appears here).

There's a real power pop band lurking behind the buzzed up guitars and something like Growing Up ("ain't easy, baby") just leaps out here for its blend of wearily contained anger ("they're throwing sticks and throwing stones") and teen angst ("growing up takes time") which hits that title/chorus in an elevating, fist-pump kind of way.

That kind of pop intelligence coupled with a blend of enthusiasm, ennui or irritation as the song demands is a hallmark of CCRiot and on the opener Holiday vocalist Stephen Heard shouts out what sounds like a declaration of independence, but also increasing anger and regret: "I don't need you anymore/don't need your pity anymore . . . because I'm going on holidaaaayyy").

CCRiot don't muck around either: short sharp songs like the Fifties-influenced Lie, the singalong Everyone's Asleep and the dynamically produced Not the Trend ("I can see myself with you . . . would you love me when I'm not the trend?") get to the musical point -- and lyrical angst -- straight away.

Moss Haired Girl however sounds a lesser moment in this company, and Forget You is a weaker version of what they have delivered with better force and committment elsewhere here in these 12 duffed-up pop-rock given sonic punch by co-producer/engineer Andrew Buckton.

Took a while for this to come down the pipeline, but worth the wait. This collection is getting repeat play at home and in the car. No greater praise . . .

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Tags: best of elsewhere 2012