hello clarice.png

Andrew Amsden
Jonah Michea Judy 
2019

cover art by Nicole Celeste Anderson

The EP consists of five tracks and leads off with the first single, Arms of The Fall. Starting with echo-drenched guitar, a brooding musical landscape unfolds setting the scene for the distinctive and evocative lead vocals of Jonah Michea Judy.

Fans of the film Silence of The Lambs will probably recognize the line that has inspired the band’s name, and it’s a suitable moniker as there is a definite darkness to both the lyrics and the musical moods they convey. This saturnine quality gives their music a gripping edge and is captured in such sombre lines as “I think I may have set myself up for a plunge to a hopeless place.” It’s an understated but very powerful opening track and a good choice as lead single from the EP.

Second track Longshot is another memorable song with a darkly surreal lyrical vibe that makes it feel like the musical equivalent of a David Lynch film. Starting with a haunting guitar figure, the music casts a hypnotic spell with the unsettling lyrics of the chorus leaving their imprint: “Daisy wears a white plastic fox mask…..now you’re just another signature on my cast….”. It’s this kind of evocative, poetic imagery that seems missing from the modern rock lexicon but Hello Clarice pull it off with consummate style. A real grower.

The third track Anymore is relatively lighter after the sturm und drang of the first two songs, based around a chord progression on strummed acoustic guitar. However, despite the relative levity of the sound, the nihilistic refrain of the chorus shows its still very much the same band: “Maybe I don’t care anymore….”. There’s a fine build up section after the second chorus featuring strong backing harmonies.

Fourth track Abrasion also starts with acoustic guitar but that acts like a Trojan horse as this is the heaviest song by far on the EP. After an intense, claustrophobic verse it breaks out into a colossal Soundgarden-style chorus augmented by a barrage of razor-edged low end guitar chords. Jonah Michea Judy sings with a Cobain-esque conviction at the top of his range and Andrew Amsden gets to really showcase his guitar skills, from Hendrix-like funky wah wah rhythm to a fantastic guitar solo that lifts the track even higher.

Final song Wake Me is a return to their signature sound; lush lead guitar lines working in perfect harmony with the lead vocals and another anthemic, memorable chorus that brought to mind the epic high points of Pearl Jam’s Ten album, Jeremy and Alive. Lyrically, it maintains the dark romantic beauty that is one of their great strengths: “As we’re dying please pretend with me the light still burns between us in our hearts….”. A suitably poignant and cathartic ending to proceedings.

Overall, this is a hugely impressive EP that sets the bar high for the future and deserves to make a major impact on the alternative rock scene. With consistently excellent songs that run the gamut emotionally and the X factor of Jonah Michea Judy’s charismatic and compelling vocals, Hello Clarice have got everything it takes. I’d be surprised if I hear a better rock EP this year and I, for one, eagerly await future material from them."

 

-The Faulkner Review

"Hello Clarice are a two-piece alternative rock band hailing from Los Angeles. The group consists of Jonah Michea Judy on lead vocals and Andrew Amsden on guitar. Their music is a fusion of various alt. rock styles with elements of 90’s grunge bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden along with aspects of Radiohead, Placebo, Breaking Benjamin and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus thrown into the mix. They are far more than just the sum of the influences, achieving a unique sound of their own on this EP, their first released material.

"Hello Clarice introducing new EP, “Longshot.”

Hello Clarice is a band with a unique focus on recreating the authentic textures of post-punk, with the gritty melodies of grunge and alternative music. Recently, this group released a brand new EP named “Longshot,” which actually features 5 original songs.

Arms Of The Fall

This song is actually a really poignant opening track. The engaging rhythm section and the lush guitar tones makes me think of bands such as Joey Division, while the catchy vocals and energetic choruses, make me think of acts as diverse as Mutemath and Alice In Chains, only to mention but a few. This song is direct and straight-forward, yet extremely well-arranged. I love the simplicity that fuels this track, yet at the same time, it is obvious that the group went to great lengths to tailor their sounds. The chorus effects on the guitar are absolutely amazing, while the drums are crisp, clear and punchy. The vocals feel intimate in the verses, and incredibly energetic during the hooks, as the song kicks it up a notch.

Longshot

Longshot kicks in with a very catchy, yet dark and haunting guitar riff. If you are a fan of artists as diverse as Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, or Soundgarden, you are definitely going to enjoy this one. This is definitely one of the most interesting tracks on this EP. I love the fact that it has a mid-tempo groove and some amazing atmospheres. The chorus in particular makes me think of Nevermind-era Nirvana, particularly due to the bittersweet guitar melodies, and the poignant vocal performances. Yet again, this song strikes for its amazing dualism, going for an intimate, yet expansive performance.

Anymore

The chorused guitar lines take a step back on this track, allowing the acoustic guitars to shine. This song makes me think of artists as diverse as Puddle of Mudd or Pearl Jam. The folky overtones of the guitars lock in perfectly with the sustained groove of the drums, and as a result, the song stays heavy, while retaining a balanced tone. The choruses add some nuances to the song, as the electric guitars creep in, binging some additional textures. This song also makes me think of some earlier Radiohead stuff, come to think of it, back when Thom Yorke & co. were leaning more towards alternative rock than experimental electronic music.

Wake Me

The introductory guitar lines on this song are absolutely stellar. It’s sort of a George Harrison-meets-Elliott-Smith vibe, with a riff that almost makes me think of a 12-strings guitar straight from the 60s. I love the atmospheric arrangement of this release, and the tempo has a nice dreamy feeling to it. There’s a smooth ebb and flow, which almost makes me feel like there are waves, gently moving across the room. The choruses are kind of epic, with a really big, uplifting openness to them.

Abrasion

Last, but definitely not least, Abrasion is definitely one of the most unique songs on this record. More than any other tracks, Hello Clarice’s wide range of influences really creep in. From Nirvana, to Jimi Hendrix, to Jeff Buckley and Rage Against The Machine, anything goes.

Throughout the span of five songs, Hello Clarice managed to pack an incredible punch. There is enough sonic variety to give the listener a really dynamic experience, akin to a sonic journey with a lot of character.

Some artists seem to pigeonhole themselves in a single category, but in this case, the artist managed to really bring home a diverse and forward-thinking sound, that has a very distinctive spirit. From conception, to fruition, this release really hits the mark, and it certainly highlights the artist’s exciting identity. We are certainly gonna stay tuned and look forward to check out what the future holds in store for Hello Clarice, who is increasingly gaining the attention of audience members and critics alike!

Find out more about Hello Clarice, and do not miss out on “Longshot,” and other releases from this artist:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6dJ9CdwP613geqdfV6y86Z

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDIXi430yno

https://soundcloud.com/helloclariceband "

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