FY!QM Reviews-The Cliks’ Black Tie Elevator
It’s been a hot minute since the last Cliks album, 2009’s Dirty King. In that time, the line-up dissolved, was assembled anew, dissolved again, and has turned into more of a rotating cast situation. Frontman Lucas Silveira made the decision to start hormones, settled into his voice, released a solo album, Mockingbird, and played bass for Hill & The Sky Heroes (who are definitely worth a listen in their own right). Needless to say, dude hasn’t been lounging away the days.
The result of all that keeping busy is Black Tie Elevator, a pretty stark departure from The Cliks previous two full lengths, which were dirty, garage rock affairs. Black Tie Elevator is old school, equal parts Motown and blues-rock with a dash of soul thrown in for good measure, and it’s a great turn. I was not a huge fan of The Clik’s first two albums. They could be fairly generic, and a lot of the songs just ended up sounding the same, but this album is a pretty far cry from that. “Stop Drinking My Wine” is comprable to Bruno Mars at his best (which is pretty fucking good. Conversely, when he is bad, he is really bad, but that is another post for another day), a mid tempo Motown later stage Motown number with a reggae bend. I would never have expected this from the old Cliks.
In recent interviews, Silveira has said his voice really helped lead him away from his old sound and into this new style that he had always wanted to make. And it works. His new singing voice is gritty and soulful, sexy in a way it wasn’t before. Perhaps it is due to confidence, or just the experience that comes with a decade plus music career, or maybe it’s a bit of both. Whatever it is, I hope it stays.
Other standout tracks include “4 Letter Words” and “No Good Do’er.” “4 Letter Words,” a duet with Skye Chevolleau, is a vulnerable number, and Chevolleau’s voice plays off Silveira’s perfectly. They both sound like old souls singing a tired song to one another. The inclusion of subtle electronic elements to back up the single guitar warms the song just enough so that it break your heart. “No Good Do’er” is almost the exact opposite, it’s playful, word I never thought I would use to describe The Cliks. Off beat, upstroke, clean guitars and female backing vocals, and Silveira wailing just made me want to dance, and it serves as a nice palate cleanser for the slower tracks, which, while still quite good, can drag a bit when they come one after another.
Like I said before, I’ve never been a huge fan of The Cliks and Lucas Silveira. But Black Tie Elevator has changed my mind. It’s not a perfect album (opener “Savanna” is almost a direct copy of “Valerie”), but it’s solid, and a great departure from their previous efforts. At the very least, it’s worth a free listen on Bandcamp.
You can listen Black Tie Elevator on Bandcamp, and get it on iTunes or through The Cliks webstore.