Friday, 10 October 2008

Whatever I Do Is Right: The Re-emergence Of The Clean

The Clean were a New Zealand based band, formed in 1978. They were one of the quintessential Flying Nun bands, alongside The Verlaines, The Chills, The Bats etc.

Their debut single 'Tally Ho!' surprisingly reached number 19 in the New Zealand charts followed by a few number 1's. Despite this the Clean are little-known outside of New Zealand, although their influence is surprisingly far-reaching. They became a staple of US college radio in the 1980s, Stephen Malkmus of Pavement cites them as a major influence, and the band's droney 80s output is a direct forerunner of bands such as Yo La Tengo and Camper Van Beethoven.

I played 'Tally Ho!' at a club once, clearing what few people were there and scaring the loitering few outside. Skills.

'Tally Ho!' (1981)

It seems their influence is coming back around once again. Bands like Times New Viking, Shocking Pinks, The Thermals etc taking bits from them.

Having heard the new single by Love Is All ('Wishing Well'), you can't help but notice it sounds just like 'Tally Ho!':

Love Is All 'Wishing Well' (2008)

I recently got in to Brooklyn's Crystal Stilts, the first song on their EP 'Crippled Croon', sounds a lot like the Clean too. Although they're good enough to admit their influence on their myspace page:

Crystal Stilts 'Crippled Croon'

Buy this Anthology. Does all you need.

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