Techno is a misleading title for The Clameens’ debut EP. The band is firmly rooted in the four-piece guitar band tradition, without a synth to be seen. Recently signed to Gary Powell of The Libertines’ record label, The Clameens’ are joining the ranks of the next generation’s guitar bands, taking the baton from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines et al. Hailing from Derry, Ireland, and still in their teens, The Calmeens are singing about being young, broke and British, just like their predecessors before them.
Title-track and EP opener sees the band singing about ‘a friend of ours who listens to techno when she’s drunk, but not when she’s sober’– at least explaining the thought process behind EP’s title. Frontman Sean sings with an endearingly youthful edge, making the track’s lyrics seem all the more as witty as he states: “Her friends all listen to electro / She says that it all sounds the same.” ‘What’s the Difference’ channels Circa Waves’ retro sounds, complimented with harmonies galore and twanging guitars. ‘Honesty and Bliss’ opens with punky guitar riffs, and is the rawest sounding of the four-track EP, which also harks after fellow Northern Irelander’s The Undertones. EP closer ‘Routine’ displays anger at modern life (“All we get off this government / Empty promises and dirty lies”), which while had admirable sentiments, unfortunately does seem to live up to its title somewhat.
While The Clameens’ have all the promise of winning formula, the question lies with whether they are original enough to make the breakthrough. While bands like The Jacques channel The Libertines to a rather startling degree, they still manage to sound fresh and exciting. It’s debatable whether The Clameens’ share this originality, and are instead dishing out the same age-old formula used by hordes of guitar bands before them. Yet, saying this, The Clameens’ undeniably sparkle with potential, and as the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, why fix it.