Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Never dismiss the humble acorn, never turn that opportunity to see a band start out, for the mightiest of trees turn out like that band that you cannot get tickets for as they take their music out on the road and become a truly great success; to have the feeling of nurturing a group in your heart of see the first signs of life evolve from the ground, it is something to behold, it is something proud to have Felt.
Clean Cut Kid’s debut album, Felt, may have been a long time in the making, the line up may have altered since they blew the local crowd away at Leaf on Bold Street in 2012, the sound perhaps slightly different, however, there is no chance of not being as enamoured as those that that saw the potential of the acorn, that knew that someday the band would become home town heroes and go on to produce an album that was both infectious and honestly enjoyable to listen to.
Mike Halls, Evelyn Halls, Saul Goodman and Ross Higginson have shown exactly what can become of the acorn, that the soil if properly nourished and cared for can create a creature of yield, of strength and substance, allowed to flourish in their own way Felt is a way of expressing satisfaction with an industry that at many times can destroy creativity even before it has been allowed to draw oxygen.
Felt is expressive, it has the sound of pop strewn throughout, yet it a harder edge, the giving a damn but not raising a finger in annoyance, the spark of life but one that is already in full flow and grinning from ear to ear; to take the acorn out of its comfort zone can lead to ecological disaster and yet for Clean Cut Kid it is the start of sensation and full accomplishment.
In tracks such as Runaway, Stay, He Used To Be In Love, Brother of Mine and Evelyn, Clean Cut Kid has emerged from the top soil, the band has taken on the elements and the kicking from youthful ignorance and elder generations indifference and has the impetus within it to be more than clean cut, it can become sublime.
An album of great quality, it may have taken time but then all the best oaks reach their full potential.
Ian D. Hall