Incepted in 1997, Britain’s The Clientele has always successfully combined its influences into a tasteful form of pop music that has over the years been equal parts melancholy, wistful and cerebral. Its latest EP, “Minotaur,” finds the band in top form from its Byrds-esque title track to spoken word “The Green Man,” the latter of which owing a nod of the proverbial cap to surrealist poetry. As expected, Alasdair MacLean’s vocals lilt atop beautiful melodies that illicit thoughts of Laurel Canyon’s heyday mixed with, as always, Love and The Zombies – trippy, proficient and well informed. There are other influences at work here, though, from the Television-esque guitar break on “Ask Jerry” to the Donovan-influenced “Paul Verlaine” and “Strange Town.” Despite the obvious nod to its influences, though, “Minotaur” is only a derivative of The Clientele’s sound they’ve created over the years, which is of course a great thing.

Words: Alex Roman

Artist: The Clientele
Album: “Minotaur”
Label: Merge
Release Date: Aug. 31, 2010

The Clientele “Minotaur” Track List:

1 . Minotaur
2 . Jerry download
3 . As the World Rises and Falls
4 . Paul Verlaine
5 . Strange Town
6 . No. 33
7 . The Green Man
8 . Nothing Here Is What It Seems