If you think you recognise a number of the tracks on Clock Opera’s long in gestation debut album, you probably do with ‘Once and For All’, ‘Belongings’ and ‘Lesson No.7’ having all been previously released over the past two years. Fortunately what we get after this length of time is an album that is ambitious, optimistic and epic in its scale.
Opener ‘Once and For All’ is soaring, building track, with Guy Connelly’s vocal prowess coming to the fore, emotional and anthemic. It is unapologetically optimistic, a strong way to start. ‘11th Hour’ after a deceptively slow start, is a battle cry, with a nod to the movie Network. A rallying refrain of “we’ve got to get mad as hell, got to go ring that bell, got to tell the others, tell the others” is underpinned by a persistent drumming and bass guitar.
The theme continues throughout, a riot of shiny guitars, layered vocals, blips and bleeps before ‘Fail Better’ – featuring the Samuel Beckett quote ‘no matter, try again, fail again, fail better’ – providing a fitting close. Ways to Forget is a strong and cohesive debut. Comparisons will be made to Elbow, Coldplay and White Lies but Clock Opera have succeeded in creating their own sound and world – a joyful, colourful, textured one at that.