Friday, November 20, 2015

Forgotten Fridays: The Ivory Coast - Clouds

Forgotten Fridays is a [hopefully more regular] feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. Once a week we go back and remind you, and help decide if they were any good.

I first discovered The Ivory Coast when they opened for Ben Lee at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA back in 1996 (?). Back then, they were called The Puddle Jumpers, and the later The Puddle Jumpers Ltd. After renaming themselves The Ivory Coast, presumably to have a less silly name, they released a couple albums in the late 90s/early 200s. Clouds was the second, released in 2001.

The Ivory Coast would probably fall into the emo category based on their sound, but they always seemed like more than that to me. While most emo in that time period was more polished, Clouds has a more noisy, aggressive sound to a good chunk of it, resulting in a more The Promise Ring meets Superchunk sound. My personal favorite, "Swope," might be the noisiest, with crunching guitars emo would have ignored. "Sixty-five Percent" starts off like a ballad, but turns into a power pop masterpiece the mid-90s were filled with. From there it goes into a quirky blitz at the end and is just a brilliant song. The closing track, "There Will Be Clouds," is the one weak spot, going on for almost 15 minutes without having any real reason to.

Overall, Clouds is still worth a listen. You can get it for a penny over at Amazon, and listen to "Sixty-five Percent" below.

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