Monday, December 21, 2009

Free music from former Clap-Clappers

Luckily for those of you who remember going nuts to the electro-dance-punk goodness that was Clap! Clap!, the former members of the band are still around even if the band is not. Two attention-worthy bands recently sprouted from the seeds of Clap! Clap!'s demise: the electronica/new wave trio of Missions and the moody post-punk of Love at 20.

These two bands join The Always Already and Haunting Oboe Music as homes for former Clap-Clappers, and the interesting tie between all four is that each of these bands has a dark and moody sound to them while preserving the energy of their original more-upbeat band.

Missions is like Clap!Clap! distilled to an electronic essence. The trio, led by Clap! vocalist Josh Mills, is all synth and drum machines, with no acoustic instruments. That can be an immediate turn off for some, so fair warning. Their full name on MySpace and Blogspot addresses is MissionsInSpace, which is fitting since this is some seriously spacey new wave. It's like the best the genre had to offer in the '80s, but slowed down and mixed with a methodical, almost psychedelic element.

You can download a promo mix from Missions' personal blog. The promo mix is available for free download until January 1st. Click here to download Missions' free mix. Missions' next show is a big New Year's Eve party at The Parish with Zeale and The White White Lights.

While Missions has garnered some blogger buzz early on, I'm personally more excited about Love at 20. Their dark, hard-charging alt-rock/post-punk is more in my wheelhouse. This band is much louder and more layered than Missions, but they seem to share a certain spaced-out quality, expressed by this band in its grand, anthemic choruses. Love at 20 sounds like Alkaline Trio with more layering, distortion, and modern-day angst. I can also hear a hint of Muse in there.

Also, "Love at 20" might be the best name for a band I've heard in a while; it's catchy, memorable, and (in an abstract way) describes exactly what the music sounds like: the musical musings of a 20-something trying to find love (and dealing with complicated feelings and consequences that arise).

Love at 20 hasn't played a show yet, but they've already recorded a full-length album, called Time to Begin. This band features two ex-Clap! Clap! members: vocalist/guitarist Mike Groener and bassist Louis Lemuz. Drummer Mark Toohey fills out the trio. Groener produced the album, which sounds awesome. It's a professional-sounding recording all the way (which is something you're never sure you'll get from an unsigned band). The songs are diverse but cohesive as a whole. This band sounds like the real deal. I've been disappointed before by bands who had awesome albums and lackluster live shows. I hope this band doesn't fall into that category.

Love at 20 is scheduled to play their first show two days before Valentine's Day 2010, which seems appropriate. The show also has Missions on the bill and will take place at The Independent at 501 Studios, just east of I-35.

Click here to download Love at 20's debut Time to Begin. It's only available for two more days, so get it now! You won't regret it. If you miss the free boat, you can also purchase the album on iTunes with two bonus tracks added on. Click here to buy the album on iTunes.

Lastly, Love at 20 also has a brand-new video for their song "Waiting". Check it out: