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(25:04 EP, ‘Clark's Secret Identity’)
The US outfit CLARK'S SECRET IDENTITY was formed by drummer Matthew Bankes at the start of 2014, and the band settled during the course of the year with the additions of Shane Anthony (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Keith Horning (bass). They released their self-titled debut EP towards the end of 2015. Their brand of melancholic progressive rock is one that is charming in a subtle manner more than striking and impressive on first listen. They have opted for a vintage, distorted guitar sound with a distinct bluesy vibe to it, with as many references to classic power trios as to a band like Rush, but with a more primal, rough expression. This mode is alternating with delicate wandering guitar motifs and more regular style guitar solo runs, as well as occasional bursts of impact riffs with something of a proto metal sound to them. Expanding the scope considerably is the use of wandering, delicate piano details, at times with a slight jazz orientation, as well as clever use of atmospheric keyboards, effects and, unless I'm mistaken, a vintage organ. The songs do have some pedestrian moments at times, but there are also moments of sheer brilliance that balance them out. The post rock-style guitar solo towards the end of opening track 1982 Like the Northern Star can be mentioned, as well as the smooth, unexpected neo-progressive oriented sections on the instrumental piece Adventures at the Unit 2 Reactor. For sheer beauty the piano, organ and wandering guitar-driven sections of concluding composition Unwilling merits a mention as well. Clark's Secret Identity is a band hard to categorize and with few really obvious references. They do make up for some arguable shortcomings with charm and creativity, and have crafted their own brand of what one might describe as rough and vintage power trio art rock. An EP worth checking out if you find this description intriguing, and you enjoy to hear the exploits of a talented band of this kind in development.
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