Review of Clockwork Calling’s EP, Alpine Skies

Sierra Pruiett

Local alternative rock band Clockwork Calling released their debut EP, Alpine Skies, at the beginning of September 2014. Clockwork Calling will perform several songs from their EP, as well as several new songs during a live radio performance with 88.5 KURE FM, the Ames alternative radio station, on Sunday, March 1.

Rajat “Ray” Srivastava, Joe Wallace, Jared Mumford, Charlie Kriska and Nathan Rodrigues are the musical talents behind the work of Clockwork Calling. From Minnesota to India, cooks to college students, the members of this diverse group have at least one thing in common: the ability to create energetic, artistic, refreshing music with one another.

Srivastava, an engineering student from India, provides most of the lead vocals, as well as rhythm guitar for the band. His sound is incomparable to any I have heard and can be best described as a conjunction of The Beatles and Foofighters. The pitch of his voice, being higher than most, leaves the sound of each note lingering in the eardrum for a split second, creating a sensuous listening experience. Wooden Soldier, the fifth track on Alpine Skies, has an Indian sound to the music and is a great showcase for Srivastava’s unique vocals.

The role of lead guitar and backup vocals is dominated by Wallace. A self-taught musician, Wallace composes a large portion of the material he plays. His inspiration comes from several genres and decades of music. The guitar parts transition beautifully from blues to pop to rock in a mere 30-second time slot of Vin Mariani, the second track of Alpine Skies.

Mumford knows what it really means to be “all about that bass” with his progressively intricate basslines in each track. The musical wonder writes his parts and contributes to the lyrical composition of many songs the group creates. Fish and his 40s, the fourth track on Alpine Skies, highlights Mumford’s aggressive vocal style as lead vocalist and is a crowd-favorite at every show. The energy and intricacy in his style is more satisfying to listen to than the average root-note strumming patterns that a majority of popular bassists use.

Orion, the prelude to the band’s single, My Universe, and sixth track on the EP, is a beautiful keyboard piece by the hands of Kriska. From bluesy to beautiful, Kriska’s simply whimsical keyboarding adds a sparkling layer of sugar coating to the musical beauty of each track.

Last but far from the least are the beats of Rodrigues, a temporary member who decided to commit to the band after their former drummer graduated college and moved away. From learning and mastering every song on the EP to creating patterns for new material, Rodrigues proves to be a great asset to the band with some of the most energetic drumming I have ever witnessed at a live show.

Clockwork Calling will be interviewed and perform live at the KURE studio March 1 from noon until 2 p.m. The group will also join the Iowa State Genre Club for a performance at the Iowa Music Store on Sunday, March 7.