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Music Review

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Without the Eyes


Artist: CLT DRP
Label: Small Pond Recordings
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 May 2020

Small Pond Records releases the debut album from Brighton Electro-Punks CLT DRP, titled Without the Eyes. Reportedly influenced by The Prodigy, Death Grips, Meshuggah, and Peaches – this three-piece consists of Annie Dorrett from Toronto, Canada on vocals, along with Daphne Koskeridou from Drama in Greece and Scott from Southampton, England. They first met at university in Brighton in 2017. The music is said to contain social commentary, moments of empowerment and tongue-in-cheek humour. They describe their music as songs that stray from a generic structure, with inspiration drawn from strong women, family and friends. In other words, Feminist Punk. They have already released two singles from the album: 'Speak to My', and 'Where the Boys Are'...

The 'Intro' is a short distorted piece with laughs, stating, “It’s pronounced Clit Drip.” The not too clever album title is probably a measure to prevent being banned from print on records and gig listings. 'I Don’t Want to go to the Gym' has low synth and drums, with electronic noises. The vocals are clean but effects-laden. The guitar sound is sparse and low in the mix. This is different, at least. 'Zoom 20' incorporates sultry vocals accompanied by lone drums. There is a single constant electronic sound and a quiet bass run. The electronica is increased as the song progresses. This is quite original but not the kind of thing you’d want to return to too many times. In 'See Saw' the electronica is really pronounced, with only drums keeping it sane. The vocals for all of these are chanted rather than sung. The same words are repeated here ad infinitum, making this more dull than it could have been. The single, 'Where the Boys Are', has an echoing off-kilter track which could have worked in a psychological horror film wherein the line of reality is indistinct. It becomes a sythesiser beat as the main riff, intersected by a low-as-they-come bass.

'Skin Remover' sees a drum pattern joined by a basic electronic beat, which becomes steadily more complicated. A lot of this stuff is clever and technical as far as the music is concerned, but the lyrics are controversial, to say the least. You can imagine it being played in an all-night club in Camden, where is would be viewed as just different enough to incite interest – but not exactly on your regular playlist. 'Like Father' has an electronic drainage noise which takes us into the by now somewhat predictable structure. The vocals are the clearest thus far, making this one perhaps the most accessible. 'I Kill For Nothing' has a refreshing lighter, eerie approach, with almost whispered vocals. It’s nice to have a change in the pace, although the vocals are spoken/sung in exactly the same manner in each song. More noise is introduced around the tranquillity to the point it becomes a little less restrained. 'Speak To My' includes more confrontational verbal rebellion. This is a more crass way of saying, "Talk to the hand." There’s a way of reacting to conventions without being purposefully rude and disrespectful. Isn’t it a way of lowering yourself to the standards of those you’re reacting against?

'Hunt' is a filler track of electronica noise which runs straight into 'Worth It'. The album should have started with these, as 'Worth It' is probably the most fully rounded song which works really well. There’s real structure here: electronic melody, echoed vocals and a thrust into a proper chorus. A trick is missed here by not returning to that chorus for the end. Instead, it just sort of peters-out. 'I Always Liked Your Mother Better' has a nice effective build-up. The melodies in this are good and quite diverse, but it’s pulled-back a little by a tired vocal style. All of the tricks are released from the bag for this final offering.

I have very mixed feeling about this release. In one respect it’s quite an original mix of old and new styles, with a direction you can’t always guess at. A non-conformist structure. However, I tired a little of the rude and confrontational stance, which loses the band the moral high ground. I would love to hear the last track – indeed, all of them – sans vocals, because I think this Industrial Electronica would be very effective as an instrumental.


Ty Power

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