Claire De Lune Marionettes

Minnesota’s Claire de Lune offers up a punchy, contemporary blast of intricate punk rock that will surely appeal to fans of modern hardcore. Like some of their contemporaries who wish to avoid nostalgia and advance hardcore beyond the sound of its heyday, Claire De Lune have included something new to the traditional emo vocals, wall-of-crashing-guitars, thunderously precise drums, throbbing bass dynamic that once dominated the genre. True, this combination is still present in the band’s sound, but the addition of keyboards incorporates an unexpected musical element into the mix. Though it is often quite a subtle force, it’s a melodious contribution to say the least, and one that boosts scorchers such as "Sailor Beware,” and "Ghost of the Hill,” while adding unique textures to the snaky rhythm of a song like "Machinegun Lipstick.” Even potential missteps like "Relapse,” contain something of virtue at their musical core. Adopting a leaner version of the musicianship of hardcore heroes like the Sleepytime Trio, Claire De Lune have created a forward-looking album in Marionettes, which is a boon to an occasionally overly-steadfast genre. (Deep Elm)