Words by Laura Whitters.
The Cliftons are a four piece band from Aberdeen who are making their name known in their local Indie music community and on social media. For a long time now, the band has been building up an impressive repertoire of songs and have managed to get a load of gigs under their belts, surprising audiences with their talent. I had a listen to their new EP, ‘Scarlett’ and I was certainly impressed. For such a young band, they’re certainly not lacking in talent.
The first song on the EP, entitled ‘Admission’, begins with the scratchy plucking of guitar strings that grows into a brilliant crescendo as vocals, drums and bass are added into the mix. An opening song that sets a brilliant tone for the EP, ‘Admission’ gives an idea of the bands overall sound to the listener. The Cliftons are clearly a band with character, following the ideas and patterns of previous young greats of Indie rock.
The second song on the EP, and my personal favourite is ‘Gasoline’. Tales of a seemingly lovesick lad are conveyed through the casual yet enticing lyrics, penned by singer James. It’s obvious in songs like these that the band has taken inspiration from bands such as Catfish and the bottlemen . The guitar lines in ‘Gasoline’ mimic the style of those from The Bottlemen’s latest album The Ride , reminding me of Johnny Bond’s guitar in ‘Anything‘. However, even though they are similar, The Cliftons have managed to do what many Up and Coming bands fail to do when taking inspiration from their idols; they’ve managed to make their work unique. With original lyrics and bass lines etc, they’ve created refreshing music whilst encompassing the feel of the music from other successful bands.
The title track ‘Scarlett’ begins with the attention-grabbing, almost violent, strumming of a guitar, followed by the introduction of a brilliant riff. Singer James’ vocals sit on top of the solid formations, adding a sense of authenticity when his accent becomes audible, much like Alex Turner’s did, especially in the early days of The Arctic Monkeys. ‘Scarlett’ follows the most dramatic track of the EP, ‘Demons’. A raw song that manages to translate emotion into music, this track feels almost out of place amongst the other songs on the EP. With a certain darkness to it, the song manages to create a sombre tone, leaving nothing to distract the listener from the brilliant guitar solos which work amongst the vocals. The difference in style shows they’re a band thats able to adapt, keeping things interesting.
‘Face for TV’ brings the EP to a conclusion. A certainly unconventional love song, this track acts as a brilliant close. The track features a high speed bass line with energetic guitar layered above it. A screeching guitar ends the song, bringing the EP to a close.
The Cliftons have certainly impressed me with the high quality of this EP. It may not be perfect but no band is, and for such a young group of lads, they’ve managed to create a collection of songs to be proud of. Bringing in classic features of Indie and rock music, they’ve also created a personal sound which will be recognisable in the future. Not only this, but the band have also made their live presence known within their local area and other parts of the country they’ve toured to recently.
So, The Cliftons are certainly ‘Up and Coming’ with a new EP on the way added with a thirst for success. Let’s just hope 2017 has a lot in store for them.
The Cliftons new EP, ‘Scarlett’ is available to pre-order on ITunes and once released will be available on most platforms.