The immediate impression 'Ways To Forget' gives is one of an album that has been in the works for a while. One where every minuscule detail has been worked on almost too much. It reminds me at times of 'Man Alive' by Everything Everything. A lot of great ideas crammed into too small a space producing something that sometimes feels a bit messy amongst all the creativity.
Not that ‘Ways To Forget’ is a bad album, in fact it's far from it. The care that has gone into the layering of synths on opener 'Once And For All' only adds to its power, and the summery Late Of The Pier-esque single 'Man Made' is just plain brilliant. The jittery 'Move To The Montains' showcases where the care put in here pays off, the latters work perfectly together and the result is beautiful.
All too often though, they get lost in their ideas. Attempts at grandeur fall into a mess of layers that tend to detract from the track itself. '11th Hour' feels fairly dragged out by the end and 'White Noise' is so hard to get your head around. It feels like Clock Opera can't decide if they want to get lost in synth patterns or great rousing Elbow like choruses and trying to blend the two rarely pays off.
‘Ways To Forget’ is, nonetheless, a strong debut. It is full of great ideas and it almost feels like it could have been great had they not put as much time in. Let loose on tracks like ‘Man Made’, Clock Opera are fantastic, and were this a 20 minute EP it would be brilliant. Over the course of 45 minutes however, the ideas drag out a little and the listener may find them self slightly confused what it is the band are actually going for.