Following last week’s NPR-themed post, I bring you another band I discovered through the All Songs Considered podcast.
Gospel Claws is a five-piece indie rock group from Tempe, Ariz., formed by Joel Marquard, the founder of the equally impressive Dear and the Headlights.
He left that band in 2007 due to its heavy touring schedule, but it didn’t take long for Marquard to find a new musical outlet. Gospel Claws formed later that year and they released a self-titled EP in 2008, followed by their first full-length album, C-L-A-W-S, late last year.
From the opening track, the sizzling single “Walk Me Down”, Gospel Claws channel The Walkmen and Cold War Kids into some solid indie rockin’ goodness.
Other than Marquard’s vocals, which call to mind those of Cold War Kids singer Nathan Willett, the 11 tracks on this album all have their own feel. From a retro-fitted ’50s-style love song (“Stars In My Heart”) to an incredibly lo-fi tune that channels Appalachia (“Somebody Stole My Heart”) to a really slowed-down surfer-rock ditty (“Need For Speed”), the band keeps you guessing at every turn.
In addition to the noted Cold War Kids and Walkmen comparisons, you can also hear something reminiscent of Okkervil River on tracks such as “Baby, I’ll Take You Home” and “La Pequeca”.
Gospel Claws has opened for such bands as Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda, Cotton Jones, No Age, Plants and Animals and Portugal. The Man. They’ll be hitting the festival circuit this year, including stops at Coachella and SXSW, where I hope to catch them in a few weeks.
For your listening pleasure, you can find 11 tracks — including some older stuff — on their MySpace page. And over on their official website, you’ll be greeted by tons of news updates, plenty of videos and other assorted goodies