Review: Client – Command

With great economy of haste, Client rush out their followup to 2006’s Heartland, and it’s a corker. Where Heartland seemed muddled and confused as to what kind of band Client wanted to be, Command shows with sparkling clarity this is a band very much in touch with its electroclash heart.

The biggest surprise of the album is how the band cleverly drew upon the best of the three previous albums. From the Kraftwerkian minimalism of Client, to the electropop of City, to the electronically-influenced rock of Heartland, we experience a touch of each on this clever, often inspired disc.

The band seems to have eased off on the sleazy-dirty schtick to a degree while focusing more on songcraft and it pays off. It works nowhere better than on “Ghosts” a beautiful plodder (and may I say electronic bands do plodders better than any other), the simply catchy-as-hell “Lullaby” and the gorgeous, languid “In My Mind (Half Life)”, but throughout the album is full of songs that make you move, or make you think or just suck you in and force you to sit and pay attention. A couple of tracks, like “Don’t Run Away” and “Make Me Believe In You” fall a little flat due to a phoning-it-in quality but they are the exception.

On Heartland, Client seemed to be reaching a little. The use of guitar, bass and drums felt too obvious, too much, too much a stray from their signature sound, but they have gotten the balance right on Command. No longer do they sound like they are trying to awkwardly jam themselves into some kind of rock pastiche, so much as using the tools they need to get the job done, a little guitar here, a synth wash there, some bass on the side, and the balance is great.

A fantastic addition to the electroclash scene with healthy helpings of disco and new wave, Command is smart, confident and with time could rival City as Client’s best.

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