Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Black Clouds at Pianos

Dan Matthews
There is a rock band called the Black Clouds in Seattle, Washington, and there was a band with the same name in Washington D.C.; the latter band is now called We Were Black Clouds. There is a third band named the Black Clouds, this one from Spring Lake, New Jersey, just south of Asbury Park. More influenced by the Seattle era than the Asbury Park sound, this band formed in 2004 and consists of guitarist/vocalist Dan Matthews, guitarist Neil Hayes, bassist Gary Moses and drummer Cory King. The Black Clouds' third album, After All, was released on January 6, 2017.

The Black Clouds set tonight at Pianos recalled the alternative hard rock of the grunge age, but it appeared the band was not completely locked into retro mode. Raw and heavy, with all amplifiers turned to loud settings, Matthew's vocals moved from softer melodic modalities to angst-ridden blasts. Meanwhile the band boomed its fury, embracing primitive punk and metal trajectories with sludgy, distorted guitar lines, deep bass lines and pile-driving drumbeats. Choruses often went in the opposite direction, however, floating with pop harmonies. The Black Clouds consistently hugged their 1990s influences, but were daring enough to inject a few interesting twists.

Visit the Black Clouds at www.theblackclouds.com.