The earthy vocals and catchy rhythms of The Clarks are distinctly American in feel. So American, in fact, that when listening to their latest CD, “Fast Moving Cars,” I felt the need to jump into a fast moving car myself and participate in that great American pastime – driving around with one hand on the wheel, one hand out the window and a good CD in the stereo.

Indeed, from the very first to the very last track, the latest Clarks CD is perfect driving music. The relatively fast-paced drumming of the first track “Hell on Wheels,” along with some input from a melodic guitar tune, set the pace for a breezy rock CD. The first line, “I’ve got the moon over my shoulder, I’m not looking back” is obviously the perfect encouragement to initiate a cruise around town. The louder, more staccato guitar of the second track “Anymore,” threatens to give the CD an angrier feeling, only to be balanced out by gentler, more emotional vocals.

The CD continues pretty much in this manner, alternating between the occasional slower, more wistful tracks like “Wait a Minute,” which invites the listener to “put aside the past,” and faster tracks like “You Know Everything,” which blends together a solid baseline with melodic and rhythmic guitar riffs throughout this fast paced track.

Fast or slow, The Clarks always manage to keep an upbeat tempo and a light feel to their music. The steady, even vocals of Scott Blasey are matched by lyrics that form quiet narratives and guitar and bass lines that invoke a sense of constancy in their consistently earthy feel.

“Fast Moving Cars” ends well with the quieter “Train,” which fades out slowly with vocals imitating a train whistle at the end of this indistinguishable, yet pleasant CD.

The reflective mood in this last song made me think back on the CD as a whole, which I ultimately decided was a nice, non-threatening listen. The one word that comes to mind after listening to the record was that it was “innocuous.” It’s the type of music that’s great as a soundtrack for the American road, and on that note, the band is clearly one that has found a successful formula for producing rock of this sort.

This is not surprising since The Clarks have been around since before next year’s freshmen were even born. They’ve found a combination that works, and as such, their latest record continues the sound that’s earned them a living since the late eighties.

If you’re looking for something new and innovative, neither “Fast Moving Cars” nor The Clarks are what you seek. My main feeling after listening to the CD was, “Yup, heard it before.” But if you want some good old American rock, I promise both the latest CD and The Clarks themselves will keep you satisfied.

So, if this interests you, check out The Clarks when they stop by campus on Sept. 10 from 2 to 6 p.m. on Goergen Field.

Kaminsky can be reached at

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