“No Now,” the debut album from Clarence Clarity, emerges from a very interesting and refreshing sonic space. Somewhere in the middle between electronic and rock, his sound can best be described as something in the negative space between James Blake, Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. If such a space did not exist before, Clarence Clarity creates it here. There is a lot of sound to dissect. It is also similar to Crystal Castles or the Black Bananas release last year in its electronic glitchiness and grit.
The vocals sometimes evoke soulful and seductive rhythm and blues, and at other times warp and diverge into screams and shouting. Nevertheless, the songs maintain a core of melodic beauty, surrounded by a barbwire shell of noise. The transitions between songs are a hotbed of static, giving the impression that each song is emerging from an ether. As soon as you begin to think “What is this? This is just noise,” a melody or a beat breaks out from the static and gets your head bobbing.
Very rarely is an album such a sensory experience as “No Now.” With dark and self-destructive track names like “Let’s Shoot Up” and “Bloodbarf” and melancholy and beautiful lyrics, the entire listen is a fantastic journey front to back.
The only complaint about “No Now” is that sometimes it gets too lost in itself. The second-to-last track, “With No Fear” contains nearly three minutes of pure static that is basically unlistenable. Outside of these noisy issues, the rest of the album is definitely a present surprise.