Point That Thing Somewhere Else - The Clean, Gutteridge, Peter
End of My Dream
On Again/Off Again
At the Bottom
Whatever I Do Its Right
Two Fat Sisters [Live]
At the Bottom [Live]
Track Listings (24) - Disc #2
Drawing to a Hole
I Wait Around
Big Soft Punch
Outside the Cage
Safe in the Rain
Do Your Thing
Too Much Violence
Trapped in Amber
Late Last Night
Wipe Me, I'm Lucky
Franz Kafka at the Zoo
Over the last 24 years, New Zealand's The Clean have influenced countless bands with their unique blend of homemade garage rock, hook-filled melodies, and psychedelic experimentalism. This double CD documents the band's ... more » development from the late 70s to the early 90s and includes out of print and hard to find singles, EPs, and tracks from the first three LPs. Merge Records. 2003.« less
Over the last 24 years, New Zealand's The Clean have influenced countless bands with their unique blend of homemade garage rock, hook-filled melodies, and psychedelic experimentalism. This double CD documents the band's development from the late 70s to the early 90s and includes out of print and hard to find singles, EPs, and tracks from the first three LPs. Merge Records. 2003.
"The Clean is a powerful but nebulous presence in the world of indie rock -- the New Zealand band is known to music critics and die-hard indie fans, but sadly not to the masses. The fact that they are still little-known after two and a half decades is just proof that fame doesn't always come to those who deserve it.
The simply-named two-disc "Anthology" gives a suitably good retrospective of the Clean's career, in pretty much chronological order. One disc is devoted to their early work: the fun organ-laced garage-rock "Tally Ho," which was the song that propelled them to New Zealand's musical top, as well as the rough "Billy Two."
The rough, lo-fi pop continues changing in the second, which has the later music and some rarities. Starting with the Clean's reunion, it has such excellent (and eclectic) styles as jangly guitar rock, keyboard pop, and the Britpoppish flavors of "Secret Place" and "Diamond Shine." Surprisingly, the smoother production doesn't at all take away from the enjoyment of the music.
It's a pity that bands from New Zealand don't get the recognition that British or American bands do. If they did, the Clean would probably adored with Pavement and Radiohead. Sadly, they have not gotten that recognition, but that in no way reflects on their music -- this edgy, quirky rock is similar to the best of today's top indierock bands, but conceived years before those bands existed.
"Anthology" serves more than one function. It's two hours of fun, gloriously inventive rock'n'roll, but it also serves to illustrate how their sound expanded over time. The Clean started off with very little, which gave their music a fun, rough sound, but with new production and more money, they polished their sound up. Their music lost the innocent edge, in favor of musical maturity.
The songwriting is more than a little insane -- not that that's a bad thing. The Clean's music has a lovably unhinged edge, lovably jagged instrumentation and edgy sensibilities. There isn't a musical dull moment, with leader David Kilgour and his brother Hamish playing, respectively, guitar and drums. Bassist Robert Scott (later of the Bats) rounded off the group.
The Clean is practically guaranteed to capture an indie-rock-lover's heart, since it was an influence on bands like Yo La Tengo, Pavement and Sonic Youth. As a good overview of the band's two-decade-plus career, "Anthology" is good Clean fun."
Junkmedia Review - So fresh and so clean
junkmedia | Los Angeles, CA | 02/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"25 years ago, The Clean formed as a trio in a small town in New Zealand. It was a relatively unusual hobby for kids to have then and there. For four years they unexpectedly achieved a good amount of success with a number of singles and EPs, before breaking up for the first time. A full-length compilation called, um, Compilation brought together all of these EPs and some other odds and ends and was seen to be the final memorial for this legendary band. The Clean reunited, though, in 1988, beginning the second phase of their recording career, which is still going strong today. Anthology sums up their entire career, reprising most of the tracks on Compilation and adding a second CD of most of their post-reunion output. The difficulty in reviewing something like Anthology lies in the fact that the article can look at multiple qualities of the package. Does The Clean even deserve to have a lavish two-CD, 46-song set devoted to it? (yes, definitely) If so, did the record label(s) involved do a good job with it, making sure the tracklist gives a thorough look into the world of The Clean? (absolutely) Are the songs any good? (yes, they're tremendous) So with the quick answers behind us, let's move forward. I truly fell in love with this band all over again upon many listens to Anthology. In a way, that's a sure sign of this compilation's success, as die-hard fans won't need any more convincing. This set seeks to convince newcomers that there's value in knowing who this band is, and it makes its case with a two-hour-plus set. But enough talking around the music. The Clean were and are unlikely masters of scrappy, simple and energetic pop music. Songs like "Tally Ho" and "Billy Two" set the pace for much of their early work. Simple, three-chord songs with wonderfully child-like melodies that seem incapable of aging or dating themselves predominate disc one of Anthology. But thrown in among all the beat-up sugar, transcendent tracks like "Point That Thing Somewhere Else" and "Fish" elevate the songs around it, bringing out the details even in the simplest pop numbers like "Beatnik." Other tracks, like "Side On" and a live rendition of "Quickstep," showcase the band's apparent fascination with edgy drones reminiscent of early tracks by The Fall. All this adds up to a completely unique sound that, despite the disparities in styles, bring the whole disc together. Disc two compiles, for the first time, all of their material from 1988 onward (save for their latest LP, Getaway), after they had reformed from their hiatus. The only palpable difference is a more mature sonic vocabulary, better recording quality and a hair less innocent energy, but clearly The Clean will always be The Clean. Songs like "Big Soft Punch" call to mind an updated "Billy Two," but without any sort of nostalgia for the past. "Outside The Cage" mixes a keyboard-driven drone with gorgeously upbeat vocals in a way that shows The Clean have not stopped growing. New sounds and themes show a constant evolution on disc two, making it a far more diverse document than the first. The people at Flying Nun and Merge were right in keeping the liner notes almost entirely nostalgia-free, allowing the music to speak for itself. While it can (sometimes) be great to read gushing prose about a newly reissued album or thoughtful essays on the history of a band to accompany an anthology, the preciousness that adds can give too much of a museum-like quality to the music. Here, the liner notes include wonderful drawings and a tracklist with pointers as to where the tracks came from, with no scholarly reverence. And really, that's all you need. Martin Pavlinic
Absolutely Essential Underground Pop!
G. Preston | Baltimore, MD United States | 02/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is real cause for celebration here. If you're already familiar w/ the Clean, you'll want this as a definitive retrospective which includes many rarities. Disc 1 contains ALL of the seminal early stuff, and Disc 2 is a very well picked selection of tunes from "Vehicle", "Unknown Country" and "Modern Rock" plus another couple hard to find 7"s. If you're unfamiliar with the Clean but curious enough to be reading this, delay no further! I'd say it's required listening for fans of the Velvet Underground, the Beatles, Pavement, GBV, or anyone else capable of making timeless, unforgetable music out of 3 or 4 chords and a guitar! Thank you Merge records."
The clean cleansed my musical soul, it did
Davy | Athens, GA | 07/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"thank goodness for merge, the label who has given this legendary new zealand post-punk/spacy twee pop group a well-deserved wider audience. so far this year my most valuable musical discovery. this 2-disc collection is essential, 46 songs, all of them delightful and effervescent, for 13 bucks. simply unbeatable. kudos to the clean for being the band that kickstarted my favorite musical genre of last year, kiwi-pop (chills, bats, verlaines, straitjacket fits, etc...these are good places to turn if you like what you hear with the clean)."
Go for it, G....
Mark Enea | Allentown, PA | 12/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You're getting all this wonderful, ingenious music for $17.00? This makes you lucky, my friend. Do not question the curiosity that took you to this particular album as you search Amazon.
If you are curious about this band, you will surely see, and come to realize, that your curiosity was well warranted. This is a cournucopia of a band that makes you all warm. No matter what. Makes you happy and warm. That's really about it."