Music Reviews

Artist: Clockwork Orchestra (@)
Title: Friends Without Names
Format: CD
Label: White Label Music
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Clockwork Orchestra, which is the project of Dublin artist Paul Mangan. The website describes it thus: 'His idiosyncratic brand of melody driven music juxtaposes hyperactive synth riffs, melancholic piano balladry and psychedelic string arrangements together to conjure up a strange land of musical toys and colourful characters. This bewildering menagerie of sound serves as a suitably absurd backdrop for Mangan's deadpan vocal stylings and nursery rhyme lyricism.' I can't believe how much this sounds like late 1980s Legendary Pink Dots. It has that whimsical sound to it and the voice is equally distinctive. However, this is just a bit weirder ' which is certainly saying something. Another obvious comparison is the Residents (think Commercial Album). This is a Tim Burton carnival soundtrack with analogue synth. Where LPD mixes up the musical styles, Clockwork Orchestra keeps the weird poppy synth style in full effect. Next time someone claims to have weird taste in music because they listen to Oingo Boingo, hand them this. Not really an everyday listen, but fun. If you're interested in this, you can listen to it on his website as well. This album weighs in at around 42 minutes.

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