What is left to do in the two guitar, drum and bass format that hasn’t been done? Writing better and more engaging songs would be a start and, knowingly or not, that’s what Clearance seem to be all about. You know, I wouldn’t call what I’ve heard from Clearance in the last year “growth”, per se, but I’m also not hearing a band recycle the same old, same old. They’re not treading water or even the same pathways as some of the bands they’re an obvious (and not so obvious) extension of. I’m digging the Velvet Underground guitar churn and the trebly Tom Verlaine solos. The Pavement-ish vocal phrasing. The compact Wire-like song structure. But, what I really like at the moment is Mike Bellis’ voice up front and clear in the mix. All the guitar stuff is cool but the emotional connection I’m developing with Clearance comes from Bellis’ unadorned, straight forward delivery. Haven’t dug too far in to what he’s singing ABOUT but that may happen. In the meantime, the fellas are following up last year’s Rapid Rewards with a new 7″ out on Tall Pat this Friday. We’ll be spinning all the tracks on the 7″ plus one or two from Rapid Rewards when Clearance are my guest on Local Anesthetic this week. Sunday night at 7:30. I hope you can tune in.