Clique – ‘Burden Piece’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Burden Piece is one of the most challenging records I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with. It’s one slow burner after the other, making 13 songs expand over 25 minutes. It’s short enough one can forget they have already listened to it as it restarts (assuming you have that feature turned on). The songs move together in one gigantic trudge; trying to move through life with various things in the way. Clique may not have written the best record, but Burden Piece is anything short of sonically interesting and gratifying. 

I’ll be honest, Burden Piece is pretty mundane. It’s one song after another that tries to quell the next thing to be upset about. The music rarely jumps to a skipping pulse, rather taking it’s time sifting through each emotion with a careful attention to detail. Moments are extremely important for Clique, and there are spontaneous significant parts of Burden Piece that are captured perfectly; it stops all thoughts. It’s that “road closed” sign that you couldn’t see through the thick rain. To back me up, press play on the record and as “Worth” comes to a close, there are tranquil guitar parts keeping the song together. 

There are a lot of rain clouds hanging over the themes of songs. “Boundaries” sounds like the final straw breaking, with a narrative of life just filling to the brink of shit that won’t stop showcasing it’s disdain of being happy. “Crater” has a more abrasive (in relation to the rest of the album) attitude that is driven by the rhythm section — especially the bass — bellowing out underneath the guitar licks. The vocals are soft, almost as if not wanting to be confident about the subject matter, “it was born inside a crater in your mind, helpless little remnant of a bad dream.” It’s an ambiguous anecdote buried behind the music, creating a tension between expression and cathartic release. It’s short and succinct, bitter sweet with simplicity.

And while the lyrics are reflective stanzas, the music is simple, the whole album feels like a direct descendant of struggles in my own life. At times it’s refreshing to hear an album so riddled with A.D.D. that it mirrors the daily grind so well. Burden Piece is not reinventing the wheel or even bettering it, but it sure is right there with me hearing me as much as I am hearing it. “Mess” is the aware song utilizing our fate as a bartering tool; accepting that life ends and why hate everything. “Usage” is an existentially distressed song outlining what we all know, “No, I don’t know what’s fucking wrong with me.” Clique play a very honest orchestra of despair, weaving together song after song without having to be overly smart, aggressively exaggerative or even profoundly sad.

Burden Piece ends on traumatic terms, with both “Mutual” and “Kelly” riddled with unsettling topics that rattle every nerve ending. It is a collective failure of being left in the darkness and struggling through moments that are unpredictable. The troubles of life seem to be infallible in comparison to the serene peace that Burden Piece seems to live without. But that’s okay, Clique have honed in on crafting an album that just feels good to listen to. 

Score: 7.5/10