Clockwork B.O.A.T.S. (Based on a True Story)

Clockwork B.O.A.T.S. (Based on a True Story)
6
Italian duo Francesco Leali and Federico Maccherone (aka Clockwork) aren't afraid to take some chances on first full-length B.O.A.T.S. (Based on a True Story). From slow-burning broken beat numbers like "Places" to the arpeggiated, synth-driven "Prisms" and "This World is Not Designed for Us," with former Footprintz member Clarian handling vocal duties while a patchwork of scattering beats propel the bottom end, Clockwork have crafted an eclectic debut that broadens the duo's focus, but doesn't do enough to highlight their strengths. You also get the dub-heavy "Second Floor" and the decidedly low-key punch of "Lost Keys," featuring fellow Italians Tales of Us. However, "Running and Searching," with vocals by Chasing Kurt, taps into a different vibe. With an emotive hook and a swarming analogue synth line that kicks near the end, it's a standout on the debut. "False Matters" and "Oblique" are some of the only times where the duo push up the intensity level, but even then the muted synths, taut percussion and focused bass lines never get stretched out far enough. There are moments where Clockwork shine; it's just too bad there aren't more of them. (Life and Death)