Remember in the early 2000s when local bands like Elemeno P, Goodshirt and Pluto ruled the charts and the airwaves with their rocking, catchy, sing-alongs?
Well, Auckland four-piece Clap Clap Riot are bringing it back. On their debut album Counting Spins you can hear those classic strong pop sensibilities combined with a knack for rollicking party-time guitars, bass, and drums, that make for youthful, fiery, pop tracks, loaded with fun.
It's been three years since CCR released their debut EP TV Knows Better, but they've clearly put a lot of thought into their 12 new tracks. The set-up of guitars, bass, drums and vocals is a simple one, but is crafted together with such drive and energy that even though the songs aren't exactly reinventing the wheel they're hard to resist - every tune has strong hooks. The production is polished, and well-layered without sounding overdone, and leaves their frenetic live attitude and sense of humour intact. It's great to hear the vocals forward in the mix, because lead singer Stephen Heard has a perfect melodic-Brit-post-punk tone to sway from sly to tender to righteous, making the angry and bitter barbs in among the humour all the more genuine. It's hard to pick highlights, but the one-two punch of Moss-Haired Girl and Everyone's Asleep is a winning combo.
Verdict: Straight-up rollicking, riotous, classic, guitar pop