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Album Review

While the Clean's singles and EPs were unwaveringly focused — and indeed the central point of a quarter-century career that saw less than a half-dozen full-lengths — their albums were more sprawling affairs. Getaway, which followed their third half-decade layoff, was no exception. Clocking at a decidedly CD-length 51 minutes, Getaway features a good handful of tunes cut from the New Zealand trio's always charming combo of the Velvet Underground and the Beach Boys. On the disc-closing "Complications," the brothers David and Hamish Kilgour lock in over Robert Scott's melodic bassline and a wall of stabbing organs and strident guitars. The Pavement-like "Golden Crown" likewise ducks under the two-minute mark. But the ambling drone jams like "Aho" and "Jala" are a bit too twangy for satisfactory shoegazing, a bit too short for deep zone-out. The disc's highlights include a pair of numbers featuring longtime pals (and Clean mega-fans) Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo. The minute-and-a-half all-guitar jam "Alpine Madness" is distinctly Yo La Tengo-ish, and "Circle Canyon" is punctuated by Hubley's familiar harmonies. For as much concise popcraft as they exhibit, Getaway is defined by an enjoyable looseness that comes from being a rightfully legendary act that more properly amounts to a side project.


Formed: 1978

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Clean were one of the most influential New Zealand bands of the post-punk era. The band formed in the town of Dunedin in 1978, when Hamish Kilgour (drums) and his brother David (guitar) recruited David's school friend, guitarist Peter Gutteridge. Soon afterward, they opened for New Zealand punk rockers Enemy. The Clean were one of the first bands in the country to play original material. They carved out a distinctive noisy but melodic sound, distinguished by David's screeching, distorted guitar....
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Getaway, The Clean
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