Here's to Ambivalence
Less than ten months after the frenzied debut of The Royheads' About Anything... 2-LP set, Clinton Hensley presents his solo debut, Here's to Ambivalence. Coming in at a little over 33 minutes, Here's to Ambivalence is a more stripped-down body of work than The Royheads' release, but no less eclectic and rewarding. The SF blog, The Audio Philes: "About Anything With More To Come And 12 Other Songs unveils an abstract blend of such an array of musical genres that it's challenging to predict what Clinton, Matt and Randall will come up with next." Hensley answers that question with nine new songs that meld a humble and deceptively simple, ukulele ditty with boisterous, drunken soul and edgy "Honky Dory-esque" meditations with delirious, experimental introspection, none of which coming across as a contrivance. Hensley hits the mark with the vertigo-inducing, quasi-metal-meets-shoegaze of "One-Go!", the whirling and rousing "Deaf, Death, Nearsighted, Foresighted", the Avant-Pop Bossa nova of "Eskimos in Rio", the eerie "Hamlet" and the swashbuckling "The Amazing Teenagers from Small-town America", which seamlessly traverses through mania and calm and includes a sublime banjo reprise that evokes a futuristic Andrés Segovia and/or a rural Brian Eno. Here's to Ambivalence is Hensley's most intuitive and sincere work to date and should prove to be one of the more unique and unrestrained releases of the year.