Subtlety isn’t the first quality that comes to mind with Amsterdam garage rock phenomenon Claw Boys Claw. Debut album Shocking Shades (1984) was recorded in one afternoon and is still considered one of the roughest rock records ever made in the Netherlands. Singer Peter te Bos is a wild man on stage, who does not rest until the hall is turned upside down.
On the twelfth album Kite Claw Boys Claw shows its most versatile side. Guitarist John Cameron uses his magical fuzz tones sparingly and excels in imaginative chord work. ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Old Man Bones’ rock as usual. In addition, Te Bos sings at his Nick Cave best in ‘No One Can See Me’ and whispers mysteriously in the organ ballad ‘Hypno’. With sixteen songs and an hour of music, Kite on the long side. Nice for the fans but not so good for the coherence of the album, which reveals one of his best pop songs at the last minute with ‘Raw Candy’.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of October 14, 2021