(4 out of 5 stars)
"" They certainly don't waste any time , do they? Following hard on the stomping heels of fabulous debut single, 'Prayer', and inspirational current 45 'Hey Lord', Claytown Troupe hit us with their eagerly-awaited debut LP. And with a few minor reservations, 'Through The Veil' is everything I could have hoped for, given the early promise of the singles and the live shows. Forget all the fatuous U2 and Cult comparisons. Bono couldn't hope to be as passionately energising as vocalist Christian in his wildest, wettest dreams. Nah, the Troupe are ROCKERS! Side One is all the proof you'll ever need. Groove-upon-groove of dangerously combustible mood-swinging pulse disruptions. Five genuine killer tracks all in a row, with no let up and no room to breathe or wipe that fevered brow. Don't they have any mercy? 'Prayer' and 'Hey Lord' need no introduction, but 'Alabama'? Well, I'd love to tell you all about 'Alabama' if only I could sit still long enough to type the words! This is the sort of classic Rock tune that has you diving 'round the living room yelping out the chorus with psychotic glee. Listen and marvel as mild-mannered guitarist Ben Bennett turns into a vicious riff hungry monster for 'Real Life' in sharp contrast to the jangling simplicity of the eddying melodies that swirl through 'Wonder'. 'Bury My Heart' closes Side One with yet another compulsive chorus and some poignant 'miss you' lyrics. Producer Ralph Jezzard's knob-twiddling prowess allows the band to sustain their hyper-energised, near-brutal bombast whilst maintaining the utmost clarity. A relief, considering how many promising debuts have been ruined at the mixing desk. All-in-all, a fine debut. The next one will probably be a work of genius. Lord knows, this little offering comes pretty damn close at times. ""