EP Review: Clipwing – ‘Ashford’

Fresh for 2015. Canadian punk outfit Clipwing have some great new music coming in the way of a new 5 track EP titled ‘Ashford’.

Coffebreath & Heartache (who have previous done releases for Pentimento, Banquets, Iron Chic etc) are releasing this as a single sided 12” that features a screen-printed b-side that looks really cool if nothing else! In addition to this the digital download comes with 6 more bonus tracks (demos and such) further adding value to this release and showing some real dedication from the artist. The group enlisted Chris Hannah (Propagandhi ) for production duties and the four of them bunkered down to track this EP mid-last year and now its all set for a Jan 2015 release.

But what does it sound like? Well..a little bit like if Pentimento was playing Get Up Kids songs. Perhaps that’s a weird way to put it but Clipwing have a certain melodic sadness to their songs and are playing it with energy and intent. In my books this is a great combo! The guitars are suprisingly clear and well balanced without too much grit or noise, an effect which allows a lot more tone to carry through the mix. That helps to make room for the bass which cuts through beautifully whenever the guitars let a note or chord ring out and compliments the rythm section well when its all full speed ahead. The drums settle just where they should be right up front and center with just enough room-verb/live feel to them. The drumming is well paced but there are a more than a few tasty fills and clever moments to keep it interesting. The real cherry on top is the heartfelt and sincere vocal delivery of a hoarse and husky front man Martin LaFreniere who never takes the style too far. The clean harmonies and backing vocals from the rest of the band certainly bring a nice dynamic to the fold and yet somehow manage to avoid taking attention away form whats going on up front.

It’s all really well executed and evenly balanced without loosing the edge or attitude. The core 5 tracks here are absolutley excellent and this is really going to hit home with fans of this style.

One criticism is while the added bonus demo-tracks (download only) add a unique reflection to some of the song writing developments, this much extra content would have been better left off. I checked it out for the review but I’ll only be going back to the core 5 songs.

All-in-all, this EP sounds great, the songs are well written and the whole packaging/screenprinting  element just really sells this release! I highly recommend giving these guys a spin.

4 /5

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