The Clerks - The Dissidents

Mike Mantin 09/08/2006

Rating: 3/5

Manchester-via-Paris four-piece The Clerks have lofty ambitions and cocky promises on a Kasabian scale, and this confidence has already led them to attention from Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe. It's easy to see why both have latched on early: their their quick-paced post-punk may not be in any way original but it's enjoyable and very danceable, with ultra-sleek production rarely seen on small releases. Lead track 'The Dissidents' puts everything in place: driving hooks and basslines with suitably atmospheric squealing guitar and breathy vocals (which, aside from the excrutiating rap-style section on this song, are one of The Clerks' strenghts). Everything is firmly in place, but it just needs a little extra push to make them stand out from the significantly large post-punk crowd. Some more memorable lyrics? An absence of the feeling that it sounds rather like the new Hope Of The States single? Even with this strange void, this impressive track carries some hints that it'll be filled soon.

Second track 'Still', despite being a b-side, works even better thanks to its slinky guitar lines, tension-tastic male/female vocals and great one-line chorus of "when I talk to you, you just can't stay still!" When the background wailing kicks in, it gives this fine pop song the extra edge which 'The Dissidents' didn't quite manage. More slinky songs like this should assure they'll fit in fine with the bracket of post-punk romantics currently lighting up the charts. Nothing we haven't heard before (and by many bands right now, for that matter), but The Clerks are infectious enough to make their lack of originality a minor crease to be ironed out rather than a major barrier towards the success they promise.