It’s not often, but every now and again somebody does something ambitious that deserves some recognition. Late last year, French indie band Clint Slate did something entirely unique, they recorded a live album, over the internet, in one take. They used over 30 musicians, including a choir, and pulled together something crazy with their album, Woodn Bones. The logistics of something like that alone deserves recognition. Bringing everybody together in a beautiful theater. Everybody being on the same page. And everything being hooked up for the recording is an accomplishment. But when you go through and listen to the album and hear what Clint Slate is capable of and the songs that they’re capable of writing; then it’s an even bigger accomplishment.
This set of songs from Clint Slate is outstanding. “Runaway”, “Blackmail”, and “Soul & Bones” stand out as favorites off this record and when you watch video of some of the recording you can admire those songs even more. The guitar and other instrumental work on those pieces, and really this whole record is outstanding. Seeing the video really makes that sink in. To see everyone on stage playing and recording together is amazing. These songs would take a life of their own in a traditional studio environment to see them live – how they’re meant to sound – is extremely cool. If we were to nitpick about one thing, it’s that the production towards the end of the album drops off a bit. That’s forgivable because this is essentially a live record. Not every performance is perfect, and it’s not meant to be. The end of this Clint Slate record doesn’t finish as well as it could have after “Soul & Bones”; the vocals don’t sound as clean and the instrumentation is a tiny bit muddled compared to what it is at the beginning of the record. Still, it doesn’t distract from the overall collection of songs being great.
Clint Slate deserves recognition for the attempt alone. They really deserve recognition for pulling it off. Do yourself a favor, watch some of the videos on YouTube on how they put this together and watch some of the performances, it will give you a new appreciation of music. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s a really good indie album.