The era of the 7-inch is dead. Long live the CD-Demo. Kleen's self-titled 3-song compilation harkens me back to the lovely days of bands hitting the studio to cut a 7-inch. For its duration, not its music.
Part Industrial, part Goth, part Techno Cyber-Punk, Kleen has crafted sound few bands pull off. Kleen does, but marginally. Each of the three songs on their album has a strangely hypnotic rhythm that sucks you in. The vocals are seasoned, but not pretty giving a strange emotional juxtaposition against the lyrics.
At first listen I was annoyed with their sound. The overly processed lines that break directly into songs as fills, the sometimes pop-y beats bleeding into screams. But upon thinking about it, I wasn't annoyed because the music was bad. The lyrics, instrumentation, arrangement of the songs were good, some even toe-tapping, at times disturbing.
It is a fun album to listen to. Its appeal is that of a scab that aches to be picked. It is an itch that is archetypical. If Kleen set out to create a sound that gets under one's skin like an ant under a cast, I'd say keep it up. If not? Lie and say you did.
The demo contained three songs, Security, Good Times and Whisper. Not long enough to showcase a great diversity of sound. I look forward to longer works to see if this band is the Sour Patch Kids of ear candy, or if their music can create divergent emotional landscapes.
Post: Kleen, 1317 N. San Fernando #278, Burbank, CA, 91504