In 2010 Velvet Cacoon changed their name to Clair Cassis. In addition to the change in name, the music underwent a subtle yet significant change. The music lightened, layering beautiful melodies atop the nautical soundscape that was Velvet Cacoon’s signature. The result was an album similar to Velvet Cacoon’s swansong, “P aa Opal Poere Pr. 33”, but more melodious, lively and spontaneous.
Unfortunately, on Clair Cassis’s second release, the spontaneity and lightness takes over and the songs fly away before taking full form. “Clair Cassis II” contains eight songs, seven of which time in at 2:35 or less. There are very few genres of music where one can get away with playing songs that are under two and half minutes; punk, thrash, grindcore and other genres where the music is played at a very fast tempo. Since Clair Cassis is a band that plays mid to slow tempos, writing such short songs makes no sense. These are not complete songs by any stretch of the imagination. Some even have intros (yes, intros to two minute songs), meaning the heart of the song lasts about a minute. This is especially disappointing since some of the melodies are quite good. For example, “Bronzed Ash” has a gorgeous shoegaze lead that deserves to be integrated into a full song. However, on this EP, the passage gets played for about a minute before the song ends.
“Clair Cassis II” is like the musical version of Cliff Notes. You get a sketch of what’s going on, but nothing close to the full picture. There are some very nice passages on here, and the listener can get an idea of what it would be like if they were developed into songs, but it never happens. I am not sure why Clair Cassis decided to write such short songs, but the consequence is a very frustrating album.