It’s been quite a couple days for fans of the Clean. The seminal New Zealand band announced that they will be releasing a new record called Mister Pop on Merge in September and a few US tour dates have started to trickle out. This is the first album of new songs since 2001’s Getaway. The Clean have always operated in a sporadic way, breaking up, reforming, going off to do their own thing and then getting back together out of the blue to put out another album out. They started way back in 1978 and were the impetus for Roger Shepherd starting the Flying Nun label. The band released some singles and eps and then broke up with the Kilgour brothers forming the Great Unwashed and Robert Scott starting his own band the Bats. The band reformed in the late 80’s for some gigs in the UK and only then decided to release their first album Vehicle on Rough Trade in 1990. After that flurry of activity, the band went on another hiatus only to reform again in 1994 and release another album entitled Modern Rock. Unknown Country followed in 96 and then Getaway in 2001, all the while David Kilgour put out solo albums, his brother Hamish made records as Bailter Space and the Mad Scene, and Robert Scott kept busy with the Bats and the Magick Heads.
These days, It seems like every other new band that I like is directly or indirectly influenced by the Clean. Bands like Real Estate, the Ganglians, Surf City, Eat Skull, Crystal Stilts, Jay Retard and a half dozen others that escape me right now can all trace their influences back to this seminal New Zealand band. Being influenced by the Clean is nothing new, just ask Yo La Tengo and Pavement. So it seems like the perfect time to reform for another album, with the band reverently looked upon as kind of the godfathers of a new golden age of DIY garage rock here in the States. The other day I half jokingly said that I hoped that the Clean would see fit to make out to Seattle on a long overdue US tour. This morning my wish was granted when I found out the band would be doing a gig here in September at Chop Suey (19 September to be precise). I don’t think that they’ve actually toured the US since 1990 to promote the Vehicle album. The band played a handful of shows a couple years ago at the Cake Shop in New York, but that’s been about it for Clean fans. The wait is finally over.
mp3: The Clean – In the Dreamlife You Need a Rubber Soul (from Mr. Pop)
Here are a few more songs from the Clean. Most of, if not all can be obtained by purchasing the Anthology double CD from Merge.
mp3: The Clean – Beatnik
mp3: The Clean – Draw(In)G To A (W)Hole (from Vehicle)
mp3: The Clean – Do Your Thing (from Modern Rock)
mp3: The Clean – Late Last Night (from Dark Beloved Cloud 7 inch)
mp3: The Clean – Happy Lil Fella (from Unknown Country)