Release Date: Feb 7, 2006
Record label: Brassland
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Experimental, Jazz
Imagine Calexico getting together with Rachel's for a session of moody instrumentals and you have something close to Brooklyn's Clogs. Heavy on strings, but also incorporating everything from the melodica to bassoon, Clogs evoke wine-dark seas, lighthouses, and fog on the 12 tracks that make up Lantern, their fourth full-length. It's hard not to think of Hawthorne, Poe, or a Russell Banks novel when listening to these misty, hypnotic numbers.
Rock music and classical music rarely mix, and when they do the results almost always reek of overwrought pretension. Only a few (Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, and Louis Andriessen immediately come to mind) manage to cross the divide unscathed. And when members of indie-poppers the National try their hand at this project, one should take pause. Since they seem very strongly to want to be taken seriously – listing themselves as “composers” not “songwriters,” titling their songs with such classical references as “Death and the Maiden,” “5/4.” and “Canon,” and opening this album with a piece originally for lute by 17th century composer Johann Kapsburger – it should be evaluated based on its compositional merits.