Clem Snide: Beautiful EP
Had William Burroughs lived another 10 years, I would be interested to hear his thoughts on the idea that a band had borrowed a name from one of his books and having successfully sold one of their songs to a major television network, went on to put out an EP with a cover of a song most recently performed by a somewhat raunchy 21 year old named Christina Aguilera. That said, I'm not sure what the guys from Clem Snide were thinking when they sat down to record their latest release, a 5 song EP, "Beautiful". While Barzelay does give it his all in the song, one is left asking: why the hell would they cover this song. This song, which is really such an awful and cheezy song, why this song? As a diehard Clem Snide fan, it somewhat shocked me and left me scrambling for my old copy of 'Ghost of Fashion' to make sure I was hearing the right band. And I was! This was the same Eef who has written such amazing songs as "No One's More Happy Than You" and "Don't Be Afraid of Your Anger". His voice was still peeling and pining to that distinct instrumentation that Clem Snide provides.
Nonetheless, the EP is stronger than I had originally thought. My first impression were, Wow, this is going to be really really bad, but I was wrong and I can admit my frailties. While 'Beautiful' is definitely the weakest of the EP, it does get better as the CD goes along. 'Mike Kalinsky' is odd, yet somehow wonderfully amusing and the Velvet Underground cover speaks for itself. 'Nick Drake Tape' is a great closer and being the last song, makes up for the weak start. I recommend this CD for only the truest Clem Snide fans, those who knew right away just who the hell Clem Snide was when they heard the name and were able to appreciate the reference, those who are able to overlook the Christina Aguilera cover and know that the Velvet Underground cover is much better and only 2 songs away. For those others who might be just getting into Clem Snide, don't fret, its not all like this!