The Cliks, T.T. the Bear's Place, April 26, 2007
HE SAID/SHE SAID: Who cares when Lucas Silveira and the Cliks arrive with so much confident swagger?
Okay, so maybe I’m not totally clear on the differences among cross-dressing, transgendered, and, well, just plain old androgyny, though I’m pretty sure the one in the middle involves a surgical procedure. None of which has made a lick of difference in the sudden and welcome appearance of the Cliks, an all-female (sorta) foursome from Toronto. As rich in abundant rock-and-roll attitude as it is in gritty glam guitars and melodies sophisticated enough that their gutsy cover of Justin Timberlake’s song-doctored “Cry Me a River” fits right in among their own material, the Cliks’ debut, Snakehouse (Tommy Boy), has arrived without much in the way of pre-release buzz, or even much talk about singer/guitarist Lucas Silveira’s gender bending. Which is as it should be because Silveira’s personal business is, well, his personal business, and the band he led on stage at T.T. the Bear’s Place a week ago Thursday had so much confident swagger that it was easy to forget the club was only half full.
Barely a year old and touring the US for the first time, the Cliks looked like seasoned rock stars, dressed in all black except for Silveira’s skinny red tie and tall blond bassist Jen Benton’s black-and-white-checked gangster hat. Silveira is not the first Canadian to suggest sex as a remedy for pain (Peaches got there first with “Fuck the Pain Away”), but “Complicated,” the surging tune that opened the set with creeping guitars and the hard-to-miss line “Fuck your pain away/It’s what you had to do,” is no novelty. Like the rest of Snakehouse — and the Cliks got around to all 10 tunes at T.T.’s — “Complicated” is, well, complicated and dark and serious in all the right ways. Credit that in part to Silveira’s voice, which is deep and raunchy in a way that brings to mind Karen O on the verses but can shift into a seductive falsetto when necessary, as on the “Cry me a river” chorus of the Timberlake cover, which the Cliks transformed into more of a punkish reggae rocker. I don’t know if it’s better than the original, but it’s every bit as good.
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