Title: I Don’t Know What It Is
Genre: Dark Post Punk
Release Date: 18th November 2020
Label: Not Murdered Records
KLAMMER are four-piece band, formed by Steve Whitfield and lead singer Poss. It consists of Steve on Guitar, Poss (vocals and guitar), Mike Addy (bass) and Bruno Almeida (drums). They are often quoted as coming from the school of THE BUZZCOCKS and GANG OF FOUR. They have a heritage of playing popular festivals and supporting names such as THE SKIDS, THE UNDERTONES, RICHIE RAMONE, CHAMELEONS VOX, PENETRATION and THE MEMBRANES.
KLAMMER are just about to release a double A-Side 7” single with THE WHITE RIBBONS on the flip side, in tribute to the late great Pete Shelley of THE BUZZCOCKS. In testament to not only PETE SHELLEY, but also the popularity of KLAMMER and THE WHITE RIBBONS, within hours of the announcement, the pre-sales of the limited edition clear vinyl sold out! There will be a second pressing done in black vinyl. The song picked by KLAMMER is called ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’ from Pete Shelleys Homosapian album. It will also appear on the album to be released in December this year called ‘Yesterday’s Not Here’. All proceeds will be going to a memorial fund to honour Pete’s life and work.
Where do I start? By congratulating them in choosing my favourite Pete Shelley track. It is no secret this reviewer has his heart firmly in the electro territory, and the original was rather special to me. What has a guitar driven band brought to the table with such an iconic electro / dance track? Quite a lot, in fairness. Sometimes, I secretly wish bands didn’t do covers. Add to this that sometimes I think genres don’t migrate well. In this case I can completely put all that to one side - this is fantastic! The second time KLAMMER have caught me out - I loved their cover of HUMAN LEAGUE’s ‘Being Boiled’ too. KLAMMER seem to have found a new lease of life lately, a new-found direction and confidence. I recently attended a socially distanced private invite gig of theirs to showcase their new material due for release on a new album in the near future. It’s not an entire change of heart, nor a complete new direction, it’s still the sound KLAMMER fans love. But somehow they have added a depth to their sound, something that seems more fulfilling.
This cover version has a sound that doesn’t feel too far away from SISTERS OF MERCY, there is a new emphasis of layering their sound - strip back a layer and there is more below. I hate to say this, as they are obviously cracking musicians, but it really sounds like they are wearing their musicianship on their sleeves nowadays. Everybody’s skills in the band are heightened, they are showcasing their skills - and the production adds to this, it is sublime. A band that has found their place in life. So, if you are familiar with KLAMMER, you’ll want to hear this rather splendid cover to give you a teaser of their new material. However if you are a KLAMMER virgin, perhaps a fan of early 80’s electro and perhaps a dark post punk sound lover - you will love this track. From the frankly divine bass guitar of Mike, with the chunky guitar of Steve belting its way forward, through to that pounding beat provided by Bruno - and a great soaring vocal performance from Poss. They have taken the challenge of converting a classic in a relatively unrelated genre into the unique sound of KLAMMER - then added some extra magic.
Praiseworthy indeed, and that’s from a guy who isn’t necessarily KLAMMER’s target audience.
Poss – Lead vocals
Steve Whitfield – Guitars and Vocals
Mike Addy – Bass
Bruno Almeida – Drums
Total: 9 / 10