February 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Alarms and Controls – Clovis Points

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Alarms and Controls
Clovis Points
Dischord Records
Street: 11.19.13
Alarms and Controls = Primus + Porcupine Tree + The Mars Volta
On “Megalodon,” I could swear I was listening to Sunny Day Real Estate, but once the vocals came in, I could tell I was listening to something wildly different. The vocals sound nerdy and a little more chatty than melodic in most places—it’s a little off-kilter, and pop hooks definitely aren’t their strong suits. That being said, they are great musicians—think of them as graduates from the “Omar Rodriguez-López School for Stoned Musicians.” You’ve probably heard a similar brand of unusual sounding but elegantly crafted musicianship somewhere between Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio. There are times when I’m absolutely captivated (“Clovis Points,” “Ocean of Storms”) and times when I’m really fucking confused (“Whistle Back to the Archer,” “Anxiety Disorder”). All in all, the album’s unconventional feel and not-so-great vocals make me feel tense and anxious, but if you’re tired of conventional hooks and standard chord progressions, this might be for you. –CJ Morgan
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