The Clean – I Wait Around

I don’t know much about New Zealand bands but I do know that The Clean are one of its finest. Formed in 1978, their improbable success in 1981 (with brilliant debut single Tally Ho!) helped to create an indie/alternative scene that was both highly influential (especially for bands like Pavement and Yo La Tengo) and hugely popular (they had many top ten hits in New Zealand).

An on-off project since the start, The Clean are basically a vehicle for brothers David and Hamish Kilgour. Endearingly ramshackle and in thrall to the more melodic side of the Velvet Underground, their best songs are dominated by a lovely vintage organ sound and spindly lead guitar. And although they’re often simple, they usually come with great tunes and clever lyrics.

Slightly more professional than their earlier stuff, I Wait Around (from their excellent 1990 Vehicle LP) is a quirky little love song that features some great guitar playing and a touchingly lovelorn vocal. It’s the perfect expression of the kind of dopeyness that hits you when you fall in love.

About Paul Saxton

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