Clouds – We Are Above You

January 01, 1970

(Hydra Head)


“Slow Day” is the embodiment of
what Clouds tries to do – a third of the time. Flowing off a sinuous melody,
guitars wisp and wind like streams of silver-blue smoke from a stick of
incense. The psychedelic hypnosis trudges slowly and ominously, but brightens
its corners with enough melody to stay engaging.


Elsewhere on the album, the
band seems unsure of what it wants to be. “Empires In Basements” opens the
album with a crusty riff-rock anthem not far removed from a less uptight Danzig, but soon gives way to the piano-driven bar-rock
of “The Bad Seat,” “Slow Day”‘s psychedelic impulses and the Earth A.D.-style thrash of
“Horrorfication” and “Year Zero.” Fortunately, even at its worst, the band is
competent with whatever style it tries on. Clouds just hasn’t learned to fuse
its stylistic influences together, making We
Are Above You
a jumbled, even if enjoyable, album. The only constant here
is volume-which is more than amply provided. Each facet of the band-the
riff-rocker, the stoner and the hardcore kid-is equally loud, but the stylistic
separation doesn’t lend itself to a superlative recording.


Standout Tracks: “Slow Day,” “Year Zero” BRYAN REED


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