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.
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
8. Hong Kong Lullaby
9. Sand and Glue
10. Avenue of Hope
11. Dead Men’s Cigarettes
13. I Believe