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Puerto Rico Flowers, "4"

cover imageWhile comparisons to Cold Cave are going to be somewhat inevitable in this day and age, this four track EP from Clockcleaner vocalist/guitarist John Sharkey III embraces the new wave nostalgia to some extent, but the result is closer to early '80s death rock than the more synth heavy projects, owing far more to the likes of Christian Death than New Order.


Fan Death Records

Puerto Rico Flowers

The four tracks that comprise this 12" follow a similar recipe, but never feel overly redundant or repetitive.  The opening "Not My Idea" joins a fuzzed out bassline to a monotone drum beat.  The funeral march is fleshed out with some very 1980s analog synth parts and deep, monotone death rock vocals.  "Torture" mines similar territory, with slow pounding echoed drums and morose vocals, all of which plods along depressingly.

"Let’s Make Friends" has a bit more "rock" sound to it, the synths and drums are a lot sharper and there’s a more traditional verse/chorus/verse structure to it, but still with the same dour and angry sound to it.  The shorter "This Is Murder" immediately calls to mind something off The Cure’s Faith, but with all of the production and reverb stripped away to near nothingness.  

The embracing of 1980s synth sounds on here will surely put it next to the likes of Cold Cave, but the results are quite different.  There is a more stripped down organic feel here, with most of the tracks being only bass, synth, drums and vocals in various configurations, without a lot of post-production or effects.  The sound is nature and sounds a lot more like it was recorded to a 4 track instead of a Macbook.  It also carries over a good amount of the sleaze from Clockcleaner, but focusing much more on the goth sounds of them than the scuzz-rock of that band.  The vocals occasionally start to go a bit too far into rock territory, contrasting with a genre that’s normally more restrained in its approach, but the shift isn’t too strong as to kill the vibe of the material.