Clem Snide

Hungry Bird (429)


Rating: NN


The long-awaited sixth album from Brooklyn’s Clem Snide could be considered a breakup album, seeing as the band threw in the towel during its recording. Breakup albums are often the best kind – inspired, impassioned, cathartic. Instead, Hungry Bird is tired, unvaried and dull, possibly because the band’s dissolved and reformed many times since 1991, with singer/songwriter/guitarist Eef Barzelay the only constant.

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Clem Snide were once funny and full of country twang, but you’ll hear none of that here. Sonic colour rises and falls behind gentle guitar picking and resigned melodies. A highlight is Beard Of Bees, where Barzelay aims for light-hearted Paul Simon rather than his usual pensive Michael Stipe. Apparently, the band reformed again in December, but when Barzelay sings, “Nothing lasts” at the album’s close, you think that’s probably for the best.

Top track: Beard Of Bees

Clem Snide play the El Mocambo March 21.

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