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I Am Kloot - Gods & Monsters


Review: Jack Foley

MANCHESTER trio, I Am Kloot, can rightly claim that their latest album, Gods & Monsters, is 'their strongest and most ambitious effort to date'.

It is packed with great songs, from the beautifully melodic former single, Over My Shoulder, to the darkly offbeat Ordinary Girl (which incorporates murder, witchcraft and revenge).

Driven by Johnny Bramwell's laidback vocals, I Am Kloot appear to be progressing nicely, encompassing a more dynamic sound on the album that provides evidence of a band growing in confidence.

Each track sounds different and each maintains its own sense of identity, even though comparisons can occasionally be made with the songwriting style of the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Crowded House and Belle & Sebastian.

Yet there is a kooky charm that sets them apart from the main Manchester music movement that only makes them more endearing.

Album opener, No Direction Home, finds the band at their most rock-driven and darkly urgent, as does the conflicted Strange Without You and the bitter-sounding title track.

But such moments are neatly offset by the chirpy melodies of Over My Shoulder, which rates as one of the undisputed highlights, and the acoustic restraint of Astray, which is as heartfelt as it is poignant.

The oriental vibe of Hong Kong Lullaby is evidence of the band's more expansive sound and the ambitious scope of the record as a whole.

While the pianos and guitars of final track, I Believe, ensure that the album closes on an upbeat feeling that's all but guaranteed to make you want to listen to it all over again.

Hats off, then, to Bramwell, Peter Jobson and Andrew Hargreaves for delivering a record that's fun, affecting and inspiring all at the same time.

Track listing:
1. No Direction Home
2. Gods and Monsters
3. Over My Shoulder
4. An Ordinary Girl
5. The Stars Look Familiar
6. Strange Without You
7. Astray
8. Hong Kong Lullaby
9. Sand and Glue
10. Avenue of Hope
11. Dead Men’s Cigarettes
12. Coincidence
13. I Believe

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