On ‘Driveby’ The Classical do their very best to squeeze as little convention into the pop song format as possible
omprised of a “disavowed stage actor” and a free jazz drummer, it’s no surprise that San Franciscan duo The Classical are a little different from their post-punk contemporaries.
Opening with a lo-fi acoustic guitar squeal and dual vocals of honey and wine, the vibe on Driveby is more Captain Beefheart than Joy Division, something highlighted by the eerie brass section and discordant drums. This follows through into a cacophonous close that Micachu & The Shapes would be proud of. The end result feels not so much that The Classical are throwing the kitchen sink into the mix, but rather that they’re hanging it from the ceiling of the studio and clattering their instruments against it.
Though Driveby tries hard to reject the pop song format, it’s really just posturing; buried beneath the oddity and shifts in time signature, there’s a very clever writer who knows that art-rock packs a much finer punch when the listener has a hook to grip onto, even if they’re unaware of its existence.
Verdict: Post-punk that’s decidedly different