Jason Clackley - To the Few and Far Between [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Jason Clackley

To the Few and Far Between [12-inch] (2010)

Mountain Man

Jason Clackley is a solo troubadour that seems to be familiar with both quietly lonesome and otherwise raucous full-band modes on his full-length, To the Few and Far Between. But the former creates a background pitch all too often for the latter to have to save.

There's a howl in Clackley's voice on opener "I Can See" that reminds me of Tom Gabel's early goings, also thanks to its raw full-band, folk-punk sound. Is that a generic comparison? Probably. But it carries that vibe, and between that and its insistent hook from Clackley of "Remember when we were young?", it's a sincere sounding and driving tune that should make anyone an instant fan of his. "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" it is most certainly not.

The album gets kinda boring and passive when it's just Clackley and his acoustic, though, and that might be its biggest issue. His voice is pretty, no denying that, but the melodies just sort of float stagnantly in an iffy Walter Schreifels sort of sense. The careful electric strum and murmured lyrics of "Til I'm Dead" is practically atmospheric, but not necessarily in a good way. It feels like almost the entire midsection of the record, stretching to just after the opener and just before the closer, is like this, too. Not bad necessarily, but really innocuous.

A weirdly jarring effort that could definitely be better. Mr. Clackley just needs to find something that works for him more interestingly and as thorough as "I Can See" shows he's capable of.

I Can See