Clogs Lullaby for Sue

[Brassland; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: neo-classical, indie rock chamber music
Others: The Books, The National, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

I’ve always had this thought in the back of my head where I wonder what classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven would think of modern music. Since they haven’t heard anything since the pieces they created (hundreds of years ago), how would they respond to new combinations and instruments? That’s the first thing that came to mind when I heard the band Clogs. Clogs is an ensemble that will most likely go unnoticed in today’s music scene, at least until classical music makes its break into the mainstream of independent music fans. On the other hand, maybe they’ll just be the band to accommodate us in this task. Although they have a sound that is somewhat similar to a few current bands and classical genres, their music is from a completely different time and place. Lullaby for Sue is an exploration into sounds that could very well date back to the days of Mozart, but also have the same cinematic scope as, say, Rachel’s or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Regardless of the comparisons, Clogs is a very intricate and sophisticated sound for 2003. There are four members in this New Haven, Connecticut ensemble, all who are classically trained musicians (duh!). They intertwine passion and angst with such instruments as bassoon, acoustic guitar, viola, percussion and flute. On occasion, such as in “Gentler We,” seventies-sounding vocals join in and make you feel as if you’ve purchased an extremely rare folk-psych record from eBay for $250. The title track, “Lullaby for Sue,” finds them breaking outside of their mold for a minute or two to explore more of a post-rock approach.  For the most part, however, this is very traditional sounding classical music. With all the sub-genres of music floating around these days, maybe Clogs will be the pioneers that will take us back to the beginning of music. I can already see all the indie kids getting their 18th century wigs ready for the shows. 

1. No. 6
2. Who's Down Now
3. Turtle Soup
4. Scratched by the Briar Patch
5. No. 4
6. Swarms
7. No. 1
8. Gentler We
9. Lullaby for Sue
10. No. 3
11. Limp Waltz