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Across The Line Review 'Carousel'

'A riot of ear-shredding beats and belligerence'

There's a scene in 50 Cent's "In da Club" video, the bit in an underground bunker where Dre and Eminem are overseeing the creation of their rap-a tat-rapping lovechild, prodding him with stethoscopes, that kind of thing. Whenever I think of Clone Quartet this scene inexplicably springs to mind, however, in this particular showreel Dre and Eminem are replaced by Kraftwerk and DFA head honcho, James Murphy.

And their offspring, quads no less, are considerably more interesting than the aforementioned, knuckles and bullet casings headed rapper. They've christened the little nippers Clone Quartet, and what a formidable Frankenstein's musical monster of cascading rhythms, spiralling electro synth and wonderfully pained yelpings they are.

The band's debut release, the double A-side, 'Carousel / Played To Death' makes good on the promise of their exhilarating live show. The stars-questing, sci-fi rock of "Carousel" could be the soundtrack to NASA shuttle launches, it's got such a stratosphere scraping feel to it. The lyric has a similarly out-there feel, minds being stretched left right and centre, embracing brave new worlds. "Played To Death" by comparison is not afraid to get its hands dirty with the stuff of life.

The rhythms are heavy, heaving, making you feel like you're on a cross-channel ferry with a bunch of mutually aggressive Old-Firm supporters. In a gale-force storm. When the bar's just run out of brew. Suffice to say it is ominous, a riot of ear-shredding beats and belligerence.

As if the A-side tracks weren't enough, Clone Quartet round out this release with a brace of little beauties. Unlock It' is a fantastic grooveathon built around a brain conquering guitar riff and formidable barrage of synth weirdness. Electronic blips and bleeps repeatedly stab at the listener like an army of midget robots with nail clippers. All very disconcerting in a skew-whiff, I was not expecting that, kind of way. And, needless to say, quite brilliant. The finale is provided courtesy of the Skibunny DJs, their remix of "Carousel", all insatiable scratching and woozy beats providing the balm needed to soothe our savaged senses. Clone Quartet, reason enough to rhyme foursome with awesome.

- Francis Jones, Across The Line