Lazarus Clamp – The Bird is Not the Metaphor (Damnably)
CD / DL / LP
Available from 18th April 2015
8 / 10
Lazarus Clamp state that they ‘have been making-some-sort-of-music since August 1994’ and that they are ‘at the awkward interface between pop and post-rock. Their facebook page describes them as ‘never knowingly on time.’ Their new record is a very British sounding post-rock indie-folk sounding collection, Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been listening, read what he thinks about it below.
Lazarus Clamp have been making music since around 1994, they are one of the many unsung independent bands that keep playing sporadically over the years. The Bird Is Not the Metaphor is a double album over three sides of vinyl, a strange proposition and not one that I have seen before. I suppose people moan that double albums are an indulgence but that a single album doesn’t give you quite enough. Whatever the reason, this release isn’t bloated or spun out; it’s exactly as long as it needs to be.
Lazarus Clamp give the impression that they have lived life. They have an attitude and a dark sense of humour that comes across clearly on the record. If they were US country musicians you could picture them on a chair on their porch serenading the sunset. As it is, you see them more sitting around a plastic table on a patio, an overflowing ashtray at its centre and bottles of ale to hand ignoring the drizzle as they sing.
The music is folky with a punky outsider attitude and rough sounding. The vocal is scratchy, almost weak, but this fits so well with the overall sound that anything else wouldn’t work. The songs are guitar based; the rhythms go from the soft and traditional on ‘Latch’ to vitriolic on ‘The Horse You Rode In On’. The anger and hatred that comes across on ‘Magpie’ and ‘This is How I Cut My Own Throat’ seems resigned and tired rather than the red hot nastiness some musicians put across and is stronger for that.
There’s an undercurrent of melancholy here, the feeling of a life well lived. The sound of past regrets and triumphs remembered, dwelt upon and put to rest. They also sing about now, where they have come to and are living, how it all slots together is how they make this sound and why this record is quite so good.
So we have a very English sounding record from a bunch of musicians that are, to quote themselves, in their 20th year of some-sort-of functioning. A record for rainfall and Spring sunshine. A record for your collections.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More writing by Adrian can be found at his author’s archive.