Fireworks

Twelve Clay Feet - 'Totem Bells' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d9/5d/90/2282_twelveclayfeettotembells_1339433804.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 11, 2012    
 
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Twelve Clay Feet have produced a debut album to be proud of.

A variety of influences, from Syd Barret era Pink Floyd to The Byrds and Led Zeppelin, are stated in the promotional information that accompanied this, the debut album by Cambridge quartet Twelve Clay Feet. But to my ears anyway their sound is more akin to early 80’s new wave rock bands like U2 and Big Country or even the Cure than anything else topped off with raw, throaty, emotive vocals that remind me a lot of Shinedown’s Brent Smith.

Like the new wave bands I’ve mentioned, all of the songs on this album are built on the bedrock of a gifted and creative rhythm section. Bassist Ollie Porsa and drummer Bob Radford, much like Clayton and Mullen or Butler and Brzezicki, provide the groove and the swing letting guitarist twins Ian and Jay Jeffs provide the all the colour and texture. The Jeffs brothers eschew the normal power chord approach in favour of jangling rhythm playing and soaring lead lines, where they intuitively pick the notes out of the air instead of battering away at the strings. Add Ian’s heartfelt vocals to the mix and you have some pretty potent chorus driven rock on your hands.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Album opener ‘Cornfed’ immediately sets the tone with its strident rhythm and echo soaked guitars. ‘Tribal Girls’ and ‘Still Life’ offer more of the same before the band drop down a gear for the sublime ‘Sarajevo Bombs’. Both ‘Sarajevo Bombs’ and the brooding ‘Sour Rum’ ooze emotion from every pore and are by far and away my favourites tracks on ‘Totem Bells’. The bright and breezy ‘Casino Rules’ is up next followed by ‘Battles’ and ‘Give Yourself Away’ that are all jangly guitars much like the Cure used to use in their heyday. Just when you think you’ve got the measure of this album they take a sharp left turn with the closing track ‘Red Moon’, a real countrified blues number with some very fine slide work on the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar turned up to ten to produce some excellent blues licks. This track in some ways feels a little out of place in terms of the other material on the album but it works very well and suits Ian’s gritty voice very well. I for one would like to see them pursue this style on future releases.

Twelve Clay Feet have produced a debut album to be proud of. It may veer close to alternative/indie rock for some tastes so if you want to try before you buy you can listen four of the album cuts on their web site at www.twelveclayfeet.com

Alister Strachan

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