If Brent Stecker’s 2012 Sasquatch! Festival experience is any indication, the keyboards comeback in indie pop is stronger than ever this year, with juicy synths infiltrating stages worldwide. Chicago band Save The Clocktower (quite possibly one of the best band names ever, right after my own collaborative fantasy band name, Fear Boner & the Disco Police™) has been rocking this business for a few years, but has really outdone itself with its latest release, Through the Glass.
The band’s enhanced its rhythm for a decent portion of this set of dreampop tunes. It’s definitely got its chillout moments, but first it’ll have you grooving to some seriously sultry jams before closing with the “turn on, tune in, drop out” treatment.
While Save The Clocktower’s earlier albums relied more on an atmospheric quality, Through the Glass brings a greater element of danceability to the table and explores some higher registers, such as on lead single “Like That.” Some of the Massive Attack and Air-like moods from the band’s self-titled debut and Carousel are detectable in these new songs, but the increased tempos and poppy vocals put many of them in the camp of the ’80s synthpop funtimes brought forth by the likes of Gary Numan and Depeche Mode.
The album opens with a luminescent electro-jam by the name of “Really Wanna Say.” This pop sensibility sticks around through most of the first half of Through the Glass, kicking things up a notch for the melodic dancefloor motif of “I Know I’d Feel the Same.” In a live setting, this would be the song to pump up a crowd to the point of exaltation.
Once the album reaches “It Happens,” it’s clear you’re headed for a cooldown. While the energy is still there, the mood is more apt for a steely night drive than a sweaty frolic at the club (though “What If?” may pick you back up on your feet for one last twirl). Album closer “Feeling” is the perfect moment to turn down the lights and take in the sights inside your mind, but don’t be surprised if it gives you a hankering for a little Dark Side of the Moon (You have been advised).