Sunday, 12 January 2014

Clearance - Greensleeve

"Nobody writes them like they used to/So it may as well be me," Belle and Sebastian reasoned on Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying. Clearance don't actually say that, but the intention is clear: breathe new life into Pavement.

It makes sense: Pavement are gone and, Mirror Traffic aside, Malkmus's solo work has been inconsistent, and Preston School of Industry's brilliance wasn't repeated by Spiral Stairs' one album.

But these 5 songs don't stray into pastiche. Firstly, they're too good; secondly, Pavement didn't exist in a vacuum. So there's the bold hooks of Big Dipper and the crisp pop of Let's Active in here and given a different slant.

Quite simply, the reason I bought this 7" and not Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks' Wig Out At Jagbags album is Greensleeve sounds better and fresher and hungrier.

Clearance probably aren't helping themselves by using artwork so close to Slanted and Enchanted for this single, but get past that and this record has magic all its own.


  1. Wow, you're absolutely spot on. They go out of their way to say they cut their teeth playing Television and Velvets covers, but the cover art is almost too overt. But they've got plenty of hooks and the delivery is spot on Malkmus.

  2. Thanks! I didn't know about the Television and VU thing (but, really, what band doesn't owe a debt to the VU...). These songs stand up on their own, I think.