It’s rather apt that The Claudettes pulled in Ted Hutt to produce their latest, High Times In The Dark. The current go-to producer for hard to define bands was co-founder of Flogging Molly, another group that heled to create a style of music by cobbling together various genres, much like The Claudettes have done since their first record, nearly a decade ago.
A beautifully bastardized child of cabaret, pop, punk and rock, High Times In The Dark is the band’s strongest offering to date and easily their most cohesive. The album starts with the stellar groove heavy, “Bad Babe, Losin’ Touch,” before slipping into the jazzy “24/5”. Not every track here is perfect – “Swear to God I Will” with it’s dark, disco vibe stands out in the wrong ways – but there are more than enough memorable songs to pick up the extra weight.
The breadth of the topics covered on the album are equally eclectic as the music style, from screwing over the poor (“Grandkids, Wave Bye-Bye”) to remembering past drummers (“You Drummers Keep Breaking My Heart,” easily one of the best song yet dedicated to those who sat behind a kit. Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer” is number one, by the way, but this is a close second).
Over the course of five records, The Claudettes have managed to find their niche and perfect a sound that is both impressively broad and wildly fun. High Times In The Dark is just further proof that the band deserves a much bigger stage.