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Assisted Living

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Album Review

Clair de Lune toe the line between rock and "emo," although lead singer Justin Burckhard manages not to wail or utter blood-curdling screams during the decent, winding "Killjoy" that sounds like some cross between Alexisonfire and Billy Talent without the manic energy. However, the band is able to shift gears with the best of those groups, making for an interesting and infectious finish. From there, Clair de Lune keep the momentum going with "Checkers," a tune that leans towards angular rock while "Airplanes" is a grittier, meatier, punk rock effort that brings to mind Taking Back Sunday or My Chemical Romance. The group's diversity, though, is also apparent and doesn't diminish the overall effect, a good example being the melancholic and textured title track followed by the brawny "Black Heart Charades" that sounds like a modern day homage to the Cure in their heyday. Another highlight has to be the strong and polished "I'm a People Person" built around the guitar work of Burckhard and Tom Caughlan. The album's nadir might be the ensuing comedown feeling oozing out of "Winning Over Grief and Sorrow" which is a tad too theatrical, particularly with the strings accenting the song. The closing "Criminal" is another winding, twisting track that shows the group at its best. And the 14-minute closer actually contains some hidden bonus material.

Customer Reviews

Critical Praise for Assisted Living

"Instead of lashing out in unintelligible screaming and abrasive instrumentation, Clair De Lune opt for controlled, calculated fervor. Toting punk's rowdy urgency and unrelenting fight, the quintet flaunt their unmistakable brand of experimental post-hardcore with intriguing arrangements and symphonic melody. Assisted Living picks up where the band's debut Marionettes left off, further fine-tuning their approach and nimbly introducing and incorporating new sounds to their overall sonic stamp. Weighty, poignant, yet always danceable, Clair De Lune pounds out fiery thinking-man's rock that hits and sticks with the listener. The band's biggest strength may be its songwriting. Arrangements are greatly varied and always inventive. Never predictable. Sit down with Assisted Living and dissect it. This one's a keeper." - Aversion "When a package from Deep Elm arrived, I said (out loud, I swear), 'I sure hope this is a new Clair De Lune album.' And damned if it wasn't in there. The easiest touchstone for these guys is the Mars Volta, except that Clair De Lune stays solidly in the punk. The guitars can get prog-y or mathy, but the sound has been sanded down a bit. That lends just enough ragged edge so that whatever tangents these boys may follow, you always want to return to base. Clair De Lune specializes in writing songs that almost break down before they resolve in some of the most mind-blowing ways imaginable. CDL are some of the most creative and yet accessible songwriters around. You'll never get lost...unless you really want to, of course." - Aiding & Abetting "There's a palpable sense of frustration running through Clair De Lune's Assisted Living, whether it's with pill-popping wasters, social alienation or excessive consumerism. But while most of these outbursts never lead to satisfactory answers, the tension inherent within the Minneapolis quintet's music makes Assisted Living incredibly dynamic...and completely uncategorizable. Think a more nuanced At The Drive-In crossed with the moody atmospherics of Cursive, all thrown together with post-punk spikes, solid hardcore breakdowns and startlingly beautiful orchestral moments. Post-rock's future is now." - Alternative Press "Deep Elm has always held a solid reputation for consistently working with good bands and manages to provide a record for every mood. Clair De Lune's latest effort fluctuates between the calm, serene and damn right riotous. Note the delicate stringed interludes of Assisted Living for peace on earth and goodwill to all men, or similarly pummel your fist skyward during Airplanes. Check in here for raw, stripped down action with all the right sounds and moves." - Rock Sound UK "The post-hardcore movement has never been defined by its use of intricate melody. On Assisted Living, however, Clair De Lune manage very controlled elements of punk, emo and hardcore to travel well beyond simple thrash. The riffs are challenging yet explosive, and the band possesses an uncanny ability to stop on a dime and mix up the tempos while still paying attention to the vocals. They're not even afraid to get downright symphonic, as evidenced through the string arrangements during the title track and Winning Over Grief and Sorrow. Don't be fooled, though, the aggression is still there. With songs about being annoyed over the shallowness of society and how to cope with it, Clair De Lune is punk for those with an opinion." - Silent Uproar

A must buy!

Hard beats, complex arrangements, melodies galore and, best of all, intelligent lyrics. Best new rock band of 2007. Period.

Assisted Living

Outrageously good music! I loved "Marionettes", but "Assisted Living" is even better. Clair de Lune is just so unpredictable - and powerful. Great musicianship and lyrics. This band needs and deserves a much wider audience. Unique, unique, unique! Get the word out - tell some people about Clair de Lune!


Formed: Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Erotica

Years Active: '00s

Minneapolis post-hardcore outfit Clair de Lune is comprised of singer/guitarist Justin Burckhard, lead guitarist Tom Caughlan, bassist Jon Herr, keyboardist Adam Roddy, and drummer Ben Johnston. After releasing a self-titled effort on the tiny Blue Worm label in August 2002, the group attracted the attention of and signed to Deep Elm Records two years later. Their label debut, Marionettes, appeared in the summer of 2004. Clair de Lune followed up in early January 2007 with Assisted Living; the label...
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Assisted Living, Clair De Lune
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