Hearing Aide: Of Clocks and Clouds ‘Live at Brooklyn Bowl’

Brooklyn-based quintet Of Clocks and Clouds is a psychedelic rock powerhouse whose sound has been turning heads all over NYS and beyond. Their inclusion on numerous lists of bands to keep an eye on isn’t uncanny, it’s deserved. Through hard work and perseverance, the band has created a sonic experience that sets them apart from the litany of jam bands that have been popping up all over the northeast. Composed of Joe Salgo, Nick Salgo, Tom Salg, Yuri Soussov and Zander Ryzinski, the band offers fans of live music a look at their progressive psychedelic rock with this release of their set Live at Brooklyn Bowl from February 3, 2019.

Fusing elements of electronic music with their deft ability to improvise, based on style adherent chord progressions, is what gives OCAC such a characteristic sound. The first track of the live release, “Cold Hearted Woman” drives this point home, with each member adding in subtle elements to a core blues tune. The keyboard breaks open chords and sets a basis for a hard-hitting blues guitar solo. The drums do an excellent job of knowing when to break out of the pocket – the fills will range anywhere from lightning-fast to minimalist, with the overall mood of the song being reflected in the fills.

The live recording captures the band’s aesthetic really well. It’s evident that they are able to feed off of the audience and drag out jams without losing their interest. This translates really well on record too, with the 11+ minute “Worst Look” being a testament to that. OCAC starts their songs off similarly, with a slow build transitioning into an intro jam. Yet each time they do that, the outcome is sonically different. The band members find their own place within the song to either stand out or step back. The bass barrels forward without hesitation, accenting the grooves underneath the lush orchestration that the keys and guitars create.

While instrumental skill surely defines the band, something must be said about their vocals. The 90’s alternative rock style vocals fit well with the sound. It takes the listener out of the busy composition and bring focus to the anthemic nature of the lyrics. There’s also a lot of versatility in the singing – their cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bullet in the Head” is well worth checking out.

It’s impossible to listen through this live album and not notice how well the flow of the set moves. There are dynamic shifts, exciting developments, and headbanging instrumental breaks. With so much to love, it’s no wonder Of Clocks and Clouds is gaining so much steam nationally. Check out this NYS gem’s release, and be sure to catch them live if they come to your town!

Key Tracks: Worst Look, Cold-Hearted Woman, Hole in My Head (Pts. 1 & 2)

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