Friday, March 6, 2009

Thank God it’s Friday’s song of the day

After two solo records that seemed to signal the end of Clem Snide—and an actual confirmation that the band had indeed, er, disbanded—leader Eef Barzelay has brought Clem Snide back together (with a somewhat new line-up).

Released last week, Hungry Bird is the first Snide album in three years (I think; I’m too lazy to confirm it). In the past I’ve mostly wanted to like this band more than I ever actually did, due primarily to the occasional wacky Barzelay lyric or phrasing that—to my mind—detracted from an otherwise fantastic or beautiful song. Sometimes the man just can’t not make a joke.

There are examples where this playful device works exceedingly well, as in The Ghost of Fashion’s “Joan Jett Of Arc,” or “Mike Kalinsky” from A Beautiful EP. Other times it strikes me like the ring of a cell phone during a play, ruining the moment.

But the gems they, and he, have produced (see “Your Favorite Music” from the album of the same name) are proof of what Clem Snide is capable of.

Hungry Bird is less playful than previous records, and I’m happy about that. They also do some reaching, including a short tune that features a reading from poet Franz Wright. And the album’s closer “With All My Heart” is fantastic.

Here’s the album’s opening number, “Me No”:

Happy weekend.

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