Jersey’s Cloned Moor used to be known as Cloned Moor Solaris. The math-sludge trio was also once a quartet, then a duo. And they used to scream. But as band member Diego writes, “things happened, we got screwed over, had bad luck, squandered chances, got new chances, and finally finished our record.” It’s been a long hard road. Even though we don’t know all of the circumstances, we can tell that the band has lived and learned, and has been honed by its experiences. Now the intriguingly titled A friend is about to take a big risk — Help him find another way – a title that sounds like an intervention plea, or maybe an email scam – presents a face that is angry yet resolute, injured yet charged.
Guitars, bass, drums: every instrument is played to its fullest, most aggressive extent. A post-rock sensibility is present in the track titles (the finest being “My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside.”), but the overall sound is much harder. “Simply for the sake of, hopefully” is an all-out rock blast, pounding and relentless. From time to time, a wise crackhead speaks, perhaps a nod to GY!BE. But this isn’t music for crackheads; it’s music for hopeheads. Loud as the proceedings might get, they are never foreboding or black. The EP is the sound of getting it all out. At the end, one imagines the band drained and empowered.
“Doom, Forward, Heavy” is not as ponderous as one might expect from the name; it’s one of the album’s most propulsive tracks. Even more so the pummeling finale, which begins with a blast, builds to a swirl and ends in a rush. Whatever Cloned Moor went through to get to this point, it works; in deference to the title, this music represents the right sort of big risk. (Richard Allen)