For an unsigned band navigating the challenges of the industry can be difficult. What with the battle of self-releasing, self-funding, self-promotion and then you’re not even guaranteed that your music will reach anyone bar your family and friends, but that’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom. It can be rewarding. After you’ve put in the hard slog and look back over your achievements you can only be proud of what you’ve accomplished because after all if there’s no risk involved then the reward won’t taste as sweet, will it?
Manchester-based Clockwork Radio are a glowing example that it is possible to create your own scene and rally a fanbase together with a little bit of hard work, determination and a creative vision. The four-piece released their début album ‘No Man Is An Island’ in late 2014, alongside a sell-out album launch show in the city. At this point, you might be thinking well why am I writing this now in 2015? Well the truth of the matter is I’ve let myself down. I’ve known about this band for years but I’d never actually taken a listen to their music till this year, but after acquainting myself with the band’s alt-rock sound. I now realise I was missing out on something quite special.
The eleven track record introduces us to the band’s energetic delivery coupled with hearty guitar riffs, funky bass lines, passionate vocals and propulsive drum beats. As we move swiftly on from the buoyant rhythms of opener ‘Feel It Up’, we are quickly met by ‘Fever’, its heartfelt bluesy melancholy soon warms into a spirited funk-tinged romp. There’s a real power and precision to this track because of this. Moving through the record, there are some real gems on there like the bluesy powerhouse ‘Sitting Bull’: a succinct, immediate release of adrenaline spearheaded by pummelling bursts of guitar led bedlam and a fiery vocal delivery.
‘No Man Is An Island’ proves that Clockwork Radio are versatile in their musical ability and style, treating us to big indie anthems like ‘Fever’ to the more pensive, slower ballads like ‘The Balance of Water’. The record is a complete exploration into the band’s sound and spirit, although it’s not without its nods to its contemporaries weaving the melodic prowess of The Kooks with the rock nous of Kings of Leon and the striking lyrical honesty of Snow Patrol. It’s a record to explore with open eyes and an open heart.