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    The Black Clouds

    wishing well

    Wishing Well ( 2008 )
    Nothing Left to Take / Right Where I Belong / Sitting in the Cold / Hang Me Upside Down / Decay / Sigh Alone / Dead Flowers / In the Garden / Far Away / Let It Burn / Silence / Let the Sun Shine Down

    Formed in New Jersey circa 2004, Black Clouds play a style of rock music we'd almost thought had gone out of fashion. Noted grunge producer Jack Endino ( Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney among others ) has signed on to produce 'Wishing Well' and mighty fine it is too. Released in January 2008, I know i'm slightly behind in bringing this review to you, but 'Wishing Well' is kind of a slow burner, anyway. I've been listening to it a lot, not really thinking of how it compares to anything else, just enjoying it. What, a record reviewer listening to an album out of sheer enjoyment? I'll go off at a tangent. You can purchase this via CD Baby, The Black Clouds are attracting a growing following via numerous live dates they've played and deserve to be heard by a wider range of people than CD Baby will probably bring to them. Yes, they have a myspace page so you can listen before you buy. All the modern conveniences without any of the modern issues. What do I mean? Well, you may have heard of the phenomenon known as turning everything up so the sound bleeds through your speakers. Modern CD albums all vying for your attention by 'wopping' everything in the mix to max. It sounds horrible and Red Hot Chilli Peppers albums are ones I can immediately think of. What's worse, even reissues of things like the Led Zeppelin catalogue suffer. Have you heard their 'Mothership' compilation? Compare it to earlier CD versions of their songs. Everything is now louder yet something has been lost in the process. With Jack Endino in the studio, The Black Clouds avoid such a fate. Thus, any dramatic peaks and troughs are maintained. We can go from quiet to loud and it will actually make a difference and not just be akin to turning the volume on your speakers up and down. This is important, because it means 'Wishing Well' sounds pretty great.

    If you like Nirvana or Foo Fighters, chances are you'll love 'Wishing Well'. The sound is placed firmly in the middle of 'Bleach' era Nirvana and earlier Foo Fighters records, so we still have some rawness yet also pop sensibilities are allowed to come through. We've twelve songs lasting just under forty minutes, perfect. Album closer, 'Let The Sun Shine Down' is a favourite in our house, almost tribalesque drums, superb rhythm section interplay and lots of exhilarating passion. 'Sitting In The Cold' is another highlight, great screaming a notable feature here. Many of these songs are made for decent alternative radio and TV, perhaps with a dark video. If Foo Fighters are the acceptable face of grunge for your parents, The Black Clouds perhaps can position themselves as a genuine, true alternative act. Keep those clashing drums and tight playing. Keep the screaming and the song construction. Good album, really.

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    this page last updated 22/02/08

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