Matterhorn by The Clips
As a rule, today's indie-rock bands are as comfortable shaking it on the dance floor as they are rocking out on a stage. The Clips bridge these two worlds, adding elements of Radiohead-like alienation and Shins-type melody. Thus, the synth-buoyed opening track, "Space Kidz", which follows a primal chord progression that sounds like Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog", isn't really indicative of the rest of Matterhorn, which relies less on guitar than on arrangements of piano, electronica-type rhythms, and Edo Van Breemen's Thom Yorke–ish vocals. Highlights include the zigzagging "Eyesuck", and the melodic dance-pop number "Kassel". "Missing the Plan" is a reminder that there might actually be something classifiable as a Vancouver sound–Frog Eyes, Destroyer, and Black Mountain all come to mind. With such obvious influences, Matterhorn is unmistakably a debut. But when the Clips' songwriting starts to match the creativity and imagination of their playing and ideas–watch out.