Claps – Wreck
(Guilt Ridden Pop)
By: The Indie Dad
A casual listen to much of this would suggest straight Depeche Mode copyists. It would be an unfair dismissal – this album is beautifully crafted, loaded with delicious electronic textures. In fact it brings to mind so many electronic acts beloved by me (DM being very much the least of these) that it’s like being immersed in my teens (1981-83 vintage). It’s a measure of the quality of Claps and the timelessness of electronic music that it sounds as much “now” as it does “then”.
‘Final Time’ is Berlin Cold War chic, all moody black and white, half seen in a doorway. ‘Wreck’ itself is more resigned, a replicant that is aware of it’s built-in obsolescence and ‘Book Of Love’ has a lush feel, the synths like pre-girl Human League married with the melodic sense of OMD – a must-be-a-single it is simply marvellous – it could melt granite. ‘In My Dreams’ is another radio friendly gem, rather more frothy and throwaway, with more than a hint of OMD ‘Messages’ pulsing away behind it.
I don’t know if it IS a concept album but it sounds like it should be, human emotion married with clinical sound. Something indebted to the genius of Philip K Dick or J G Ballard. Split into 2 “sides” it seems to focus on first finding love then losing it in the dystopian sprawl. The singer’s voice is one of melody and resigned sadness particularly on “side” two. The loss seems to seep in despite the beauty – by the time ‘Eyes Remain’ ends the album it feels like the human has been subsumed by the mechanical – it sounds like a soporific ‘We Are Glass’. A funereal dirge with the faint gleam of soul sliding towards the light at the end of the tunnel.