Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Henry Clay People - For Cheap or for Free

Rather than point to Joey Siara’s lyrics, increasingly about the reality of living as a part-time musician with favors to ask and debts to pay, or the influence that stems here from ‘70s glam (“Living in Debt”), mid-‘80s alt-rock (“This Ain’t a Scene”) and, on the whole, that ambiguous field of Americana/alt-country, it’s easiest to sum up For Cheap or for Free by mentioning how doomed the Henry Clay People are to garner a share of reviews that claim “Rock and Roll Has[n’t] Lost its Teeth.”

This third full-length combines a perfect formula of sad bastard luck and drunken cheer, unpretentious and heavily divided in tone by its separate recording sessions. Several songs carry over from the Working Part Time EP, released earlier this year and far more representative of the band’s rowdy live show than For Cheap on the whole. That said, those three – as well as “Fine Print,” which references earlier song “Elly and the Eczema Princess” and is also from that original recording session – balance the more polished recordings, the acoustic breakup ballad, the barking of Siara’s dog.

Moreover, every song the Henry Clay People create is an anthem in itself, and if “Andy Sings!” is the feel-good moment in a coming of age movie when the kids are about to embark on a pre-graduation road trip, or when the geeky but socially acceptable guy in khakis is about to ask out the hot blond chick who secretly crushes on him, then “You Can Be Timeless” is the conclusion of the film. This band gets smarter with every song, and is among the best in Los Angeles at present.

The Henry Clay People - Fine Print
The Henry Clay People - This Ain't a Scene
Purchase For Cheap or for Free starting November 4.
Then buy a taste of their live show (recorded during their February residency at the Echo)

And for you local folks, the Henry Clay People will be at the Cat and the Fiddle (8530 Sunset Blvd.) on Halloween. Show's at 9pm, is $5, and also features the Tall Hands (note: this is a venue change).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how much does it cost