Review of Cedars Album by Clearlake


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Clearlake - Cedars - Domino - Reviewed
What makes the English, English? Simple, the weather. Cedars is the most English record you will hear all year, it could only be born under battleship grey skies, and in the face of spitting rain.

If debut album, 'Lido', laid down the blueprint with its tales of great times down the local jumble sale then cedars has taken that attention to the minutia and used it to bring the big issues into clear focus. What flows from that is an incredible poignancy. Heartbreak, lost love and the fragility of beauty are illuminated on a song about the weather ('Wondering if the snow will settle'), in just such a way. Evidence of a rare talent, make your Smiths comparisons now.

Clearlake - Cedars - Domino - Reviewed @
The band has tried to create a rawer sound this time around and Detroit meets Hove in the garage influence present on many of the tracks. New single 'All the Same', to take a case in point, powers along to chugging, rolling guitar with fantastic effect.

'Cedars'; a dark strand runs through it. To be found in the oblivion of 'Can't feel a thing' and on starkly shocking number, 'I'd like to hurt you', where Pegg admits to a latent violence ('I wouldn't hurt a fly/but I'd like to punish you'). He is verging upon breakdown by 'It's all too much'; a rage barely suppressed glows from the slowly and precisely delivered vocals. 'How dare you tell me I'm some kind of freak', he sings before a savage chorus of 'Bends' era guitars bursts open.

We feel the darkness but it doesn't ever envelop. 'Treat yourself with kindness', is a modern day angst classic upon which Pegg unleashes a sad, wise fury, offering hope to a friend destroying himself with self loathing. The anti-'Creep', if you like.

Too idiosyncratic for popular mores, perhaps, if so 'Cedars' and Clearlake will have to remain our special little secret.