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The Plastic Ashtray Review 'Well-Oiled Machine'

'The pop stamina and song writing chic to impress even the most stubborn muso'

Clone Quartet already blew us off our perches with their debut single ‘Carousel’ which is coincidently the opening track on this fired up masterpiece of an album. The band have [over eleven tracks] have the pop stamina and song writing chic to impress even the most stubborn muso. Their style shifts between crunching rock, dance inspired indie pop and all out dance floor (future) anthems. Songs like "Young Foal" twinkle with their retro synth sounds and skipping drums. The songs however have enough shifts to make them superior in every way. "Young Foal" takes a right turn heading into a more choppy and melodic chorus part. Acoustic guitars creep in under layers of drums synth and cubase trickery. Their general mood can shift from anywhere between cheery pop and dark, brooding & sexy rock n roll. "Twenty Five (Kane Was A Curse)" is a perfect example of this with it’s heavy almost NIN style grind and fairground keyboard work. Vocally catchy and lyrically intriguing, the band comparing themselves and their work to a modern genius like Orson Welles, not in a pretentious way either, more the perils of keeping a steady flow of great work and not folding. Quality is key.

The most straight up dance moment is the bleepy and skipping "Need Your Love" which also mixes some nice alterative rock moments and tongue in cheek lead guitar work alongside nasty electro pop beats and cheeky melodies. "Hold On" is probably the heaviest moment on the album. Sounding desperate and forceful, Clone Quartet play the Pavement meets Sonic Youth Indie rock card which nestles nicely amongst their album which is both balanced and infectious. There’s enough variety to keep any listener involved. Their shifts, melodies and performance is excellent. The variety of music within ‘Well-Oiled Machine’ is immense. The title track again kicking into grinding grunge fueled dance music. They have the perfect blend.

The best track on the whole album by far is the amazing "Won't Somebody Please" which has every element going to make it floor filler. The first time it caught me I found myself moving in ways I never knew I could. Whether it’s the squarks of guitar, the heavy and punchy drumming or the fact it’s so damn catchy, you can’t fail but fall in love with it. Clone Quartet have made an absolute classic of a debut album which really has depth variety and fun. This is all capped off with great production and song writing skills. ‘Well-Oiled Machine’ is indeed slick, sexy and friggin’ catchy. This album is an essential purchase this year.

- Pete Stanley, The Plastic Ashtray