‘Come What May’ from Clutching At Straws – you will certainly want more(November 26, 2013)
The first time you listen to ‘Come What May’ a ‘mini-album’ from Clutching At Straws there’s little doubt you’re hearing another of this country’s outstanding folk bands. There’s so many levels working here one or two of them may pass you by at first but the more you listen the more you hear. There’s the sparkling melodies, the engaging blend of voices, the finely eclectic mix of instruments and intense percussion and there’s also deeply investigative, observant and razor-sharp lyrics.
Clutching At Straws describe themselves as ‘alternative folk quartet, hailing from the ‘creative county’ of Staffordshire’. Be that as it may, describing their music is better served by using words like unorthodox, hard-nosed and untraditional. Then you could also throw in uncompromising, powerful and penetrating. Then again, without the heritage of the tradition, folk such as this could not have come about. This is 21st century folk that takes on the issues of this era with the themes and essence of its lyrics and directions of delivery, and Clutching At Straws deliver in precisely the right vein. The lyrics cut to the bone with essential truths and a refusal to accept the way it is. As they say it’s the price that so many people pay. Listen to the eponymous ‘Come What May’ with its intense observations, the more acquiescing acceptance but no less poignant ‘Forged Tales’ and the outraged realisation and demand for alternatives bound up in ‘The Price You Paid’ to experience the presence of these songs.
This isn’t the longest album in the world but if the axiom of ‘leave them wanting more’ ever held good then ‘Come What May’ fulfils the proverb. Hear this album and you will want more. Twice as long would be good next time but if it’s concentrated and powerful then tiny doses often suffice. And with this double-distilled, pure sit-up and take-notice music the dose is exactly as required.
Find album and band here: www.clutchingatstraws.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll