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Klang - No Sound is Heard

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Artist: Klang

Album: No Sound is Heard

Label: Blast First Petite

Review date: Sep. 22, 2004

One of the most unassuming releases of the year, the debut album from English trio Klang quietly marks the long-overdue return of Donna Matthews – onetime lead guitarist/co-songwriter for New Wave of New Wave breakouts Elastica. Nearly 10 years after their debut trafficked Wiry jangle and pill-popping spunk to a nation hemorrhaging Britpop knockoffs, Elastica’s legacy was washed away stateside in amber waves of Budweiser. The beer barons tacked the quartet’s single “Connection” to a requisitely ubiquitous ad campaign, thus leaving it to be exhumed in sports venues evermore. Indeed, by the time the band’s overdue sophomore effort The Menace trickled out in 2000 – mostly minus Matthews – the band had become most notable for the absurdly massive lapse between long-players.

No Sound is Heard features Matthews working in the same spectral bareness first evident in Elastica’s 4-track demos – such as “Blue” and “Car Wash” – that appeared on the back of the band’s early singles and eschewed the punched-up, sped-out spazzery of their respective A-sides. Rather than fizzy zips and power-chord chops, Matthews carefully picks mellifluent electricity while drummer Keisuke Hiratsuka and bassist Isabel Waidmer lock on throb.

Though their name may allude to Kraftwerk’s electro bunker, Klang’s effortlessly shuck Krautrock’s space jams of all cosmic registers down to crisp, mantric outlines. Another point of reference may be PJ Harvey’s stark death blues, though Matthews wastes no time chewing the scenery for furious theatrics. Taut, but not tense, No Sound is Heard’s breezy 27 minutes is a mellow drift in minimal space.

By Bernardo Rondeau

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