Monday, July 27, 2009

Album Review: Context Clues - 'Improve Your Diction'

Context Clues albumContext Clues' whole ethos can be summed up by its MySpace bio: Hello, we're a pop band from Austin. Yep. That's really all it says. This is not to suggest that Context Clues has nothing to say -- the quartet's debut album, Improve Your Diction, is full of clever observations and quotable lines. Take, for instance, the chorus of "Nietzsche's Dead", the blistering and catchy opener: Nietzche's dead, oh God ain't dead. But Context Clues is just a pop band from Austin, after all. It's an en vogue genre to be a part of right now. I mean who doesn't love The Beatles and Pavement, right? So why not mix them both and add a sprinkle of whatever other music you listened to in the '90s? For some it was Radiohead and for others it was My Bloody Valentine. In the case of Context Clues, it was ska revival. There isn't anything new or groundbreaking going on here, but this music is so well-written, infectious, and optimistic that I can't help but recline in my chair and smile. Tight production value on their recordings and above-average technical chops live are what help Context Clues stand out as a good band in Austin's sea of indie-pop posers.

"Don't Extend"

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Context Clues plays tonight at Hole In The Wall. It's their last show for a while as their bass player will be out of town for about a year. Don't miss 'em, and pick up a copy of the album while you're at it. Check out the band on MySpace. I highly recommend reading their scathing satirical blog post "And now...a special message from Bob Schneider". Youch!


Jeff said...

Thanks for the review, Ajay!