Review: I Am Kloot – Let It All In
Published on January 9th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
“Shall I tell you the tales of glory / In light of the many righted wrongs?” rasps John Bramwell campfirishly on “Bullets”, the opening number on I Am Kloot’s sixth album Let It All In, and the overwhelming temptation is to shout back…
“YES, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! BLOODY DO IT! NOW!”
This is because each Kloot transmission to date has been its own kind of wonderful, leaving Let It All In with much to do if it’s to befit its lineage. The commanding, creeping cabaret of “Bullets” is certainly a good start, even more so when it erupts into sleazy scuzz, and the ensuing title track keeps things ticking over rather splendidly with a breezy kind of class reminiscent of the Manchester trio’s 2005 LP Gods and Monsters.
The torch takes its place back under Bramwell’s chin for the late-night-‘n’-smoky “Hold Back the Night”, which boats more ace lines like “We tripped the light fantastic / Solutions more drastic” and an even more stirring eruption than that of “Bullets”, this time provided by a quite exhilarating arrangement of string and electric guitar courtesy of bassist/multi-instrumentalist Peter Jobson and Elbow front man Guy Garvey, who produced this album alongside band mate Craig Potter.
Speaking exclusively to Rocksucker (or “Rockfucker”, as he thought we were called), Bramwell described how they went about creating this “fizzy string” effect, and it really is both immensely satisfying on the ears and a key feature of Let It All In as a whole. Immediately, though, things take a turn for the gentle with “Mouth on Me”, an elegant and welcoming admission of being a bit of a “wisecracker” once upon a time, and “Shoeless”, which though pleasant runs too parallel to Sky at Night opener “Northern Skies” for comfort, albeit it did take Rocksucker many listens of the album before noticing this.
“Masquerade”, based on an early composition, joins “Mouth on Me” in coming across a bit like one of the more sunnily disposed numbers on Natural History, Kloot’s flawless debut, before “Some Better Day” introduces a nice application of trumpet, a gently masterful chorus and yet more ace Bramwell-isms like “Should your god refute the facts / And science not take up the slack / You could get your money back / For all you want and all you have”.
Then, and only then, do we get our second electrifying dose of those fizzy strings; “These Days Are Mine” is every bit as assured as its title suggests – no, wait, even more assured! Yesiree! – being as it is a stomping, euphoric lovemonster, like a more psychedelic version of “Radiation” from Sky at Night. The killer line this time: “Just one smile taking up all my time”. It’s a right Klooty beauty and no mistake.
All that’s left then is the sublimely fingerpicked “Forgive Me These Reminders”, sparsely arranged and all the more striking for it; you know, campfirishly. It’s a word now. I Am Kloot fans: think “Astray”, “No Fear of Falling”, “Because”, “At the Sea”… Alternatively, you could think of Shack – Kloot’s Liverpudlian kindred spirits – circa … Here’s Tom With the Weather. Any which way, it’s gorgeous.
As yer man said, Let It All In does indeed feel like the band reverting to their original course after the diversion-of-sorts that was the thematically cinematic/cinematically thematic Sky at Night, so breath-taking a flight of fancy that it feels a shame not to have been elaborated on/progressed from. It’s hard to argue when the songs are this strong, though, and the next time Rocksucker has a Kloot binge we shall have a yet greater pool to draw from.
Overall, a great ‘comfort’ album to start 2013 with, and one we look forward to revisiting as the year goes on.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!