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The Plural of the Choir

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Album Review

Bologna, Italy's Settlefish may never break the indie rock mold, but with its atmospheric presentation, chiming guitar fascination, and a vocalist who sounds like a dead ringer for Tom DeLonge of blink-182 when he's not channeling Mars Volta/At the Drive-In barker Cedric Bixler, the group gives fans of the style plenty of reasons to be cheerful. That's not to say Canadian-bred singer Jonathan Clancy is on happy pills; he's more of a lovelorn guy as evidenced by demonstrative set-opener "Kissing Is Chaos" and the winning ballad "Getting the Clicks Out of Our Hearts." Tempering experimental, discordant indie rock with alluring melodies isn't the easiest task, but Settlefish and producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse/Iron & Wine) capably construct their art. It's not surprising, based on Deck's pedigree, that "The Barnacle Beach" sounds like it could be a collaboration with Isaac Brock and company. And while calculated 45-second vignettes like "Sparrow You Will Fly" frustrate more than they should, The Plural of the Choir succeeds by and large. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amazing

The Plural of the Choir, Settlefish's sophmore and most amazing cd, is everything you wish for and more if you love heavily emotional, unique indie rock

And The Critics Say...

"Italian quintet Settlefish offer up their second album, The Plural Of The Choir, a multi-movement indie-jazz / post-hardcore odyssey with heartbreakingly poetic lyrics. Rocking Like Modest Mouse and At The Drive-In, it's one of the best thing to ever come out on Deep Elm, so check it out." - Alternative Press "Settlefish create a sense of panicked urgency from the moment the listener hits play. Deep Elm comes up trumps once again, unsurprising indeed, but still never ceasing to impress. Settlefish's music is raw, it's real, there's no facade and no boredom, just utter brilliance." - Rock Sound "Some of the finest art can't make up its mind. Settlefish literally wander from this to that on The Plural Of The Choir, arranging the backing soundtrack to a rendition of every drunken collegiate kid stumbling to find a burrito at closing time. It's off-balance and unsteady. There's excitement, terror, sadness, tenderness, clarity, confusion and satisfaction all clefting into digressions and tributaries that recall the boundless experimenting of Q And No U. But Jonathan Clancy's handsome, summerish vocals give this stubborn record a soothing warmth." - Punk Planet "Truly coming into their own, Settlefish strike a chord of truth and loss that resonates for every one of these thirty-eight minutes. The Plural Of The Choir is the sound of a band who have finally gained a foothold in the aural landscape they're attempting to conquer and who have found their own voice and are using it to shout as loud as they can. Jonathan Clancy's vocals are as rough as the songs, bringing a wounded honesty that evokes early The Anniversary. The songs possess a feel similar to Braid and American Football, though the unique structures and occasional moody instrumental breaks create a feeling that's solely their own." - Exclaim "The astounding success of The Plural Of The Choir from Settlefish owes to a careful balancing act between accessible and experimental, combining elements of melody with frenzied discord. Populating the album is a set of uniquely addictive songs with sharper hooks than the most blatant pop. But they're done with an anomalous unpredictability and impulsive experimentalism that makes each one an experience you haven't had before. Jonathan Clancy's part-singing, part-shouting, part-speaking performance is the center of attention; he's like the singers for Cursive and mewithoutYou superimposed on one another. The jazzy drumwork adds to the catchy chaos factor while the guitars take all sorts of liberties to create lines that can be dissonant, lavish or a combination of both. The Plural Of The Choir is in a class with records like Cursive's Ugly Organ, and Settlefish have entered the elite ranks of groups whose albums I could not be without." - Punk International "The Plural Of The Choir is a superbly cohesive and original work of art, combing over the fields of several genres for the best traces of style to create something that delicately walks the tightrope between accessible and experimental. The band's lush, atmospheric sound seems to throw together the post-prefixed versions of their take on hardcore, punk and rock, and in doing so, comes off dreamy and yet somehow dancey and singable. The production is raw, and it couldn't fit the style better, giving the record an improvisationally-executed feel. Oh Well immediately starts off with ridiculously dynamic chord movement; one guitar is beaten through power chords and another is used to fill the speakers with flowing, ambient riffing. Blinded By Noise is a summed-up conveyance of the band's more intense, aggressive moments, as it takes an At The Drive-In influence to refreshing heights, while its partner in crime, Two Cities, Two Growths, is the more mid-tempo, depth-rising example of the tense emotions the record is hiding underneath the surface. We Please The Night, Drama couldn't close the record any more appropriately; it's a six-minute track that flushes out every last bit of atmospheric tension it's been building up. Settlefish is likely to leave a permanent inkling upon the indie rock scene, as The Plural Of The Choir is a great effort that lurks in experimental waters without drowning finless." - Punknews

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Bologna, Italy

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The intelligent post-hardcore quintet Settlefish emerged from Bologna, Italy, in 1998. Led by Canadian vocalist Jonathan Clancy, the band also featured Emilio Torreggiani (guitar), Bruno Germano (guitar), Phillipe Soldati (drums), and Stefano Pilia (bass), all Bolognese. Torreggiani and Soldati had previously played together in Grosse Bertha. After coalescing around co-written material, Settlefish began playing out around Bologna at festivals, and eventually self-released a three-song EP. More songs...
Full Bio
The Plural of the Choir, Settlefish
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