Like Importing Apple Pie (Just Not as Good)

Two of a Kind (Roasting House Records)
Clark

By Andrea Hunt

According to American Public Media's Marketplace, monster truck rallies are gaining popularity in Sweden. The export of such a genuinely American and lowbrow festivity seems unnecessary, particularly when it's to a country that's supposed to be providing the United States with stylish unassembled furniture, cell phones and liberal-democracy and public-health paradigms.

The cultural hegemony that brought monster trucks to Sweden has backfired, or at least ricocheted: Clark is a pop-rock band that hails from Malmoe, Sweden, but sounds as if it is ready to step in the shoes of every single pop-rock act on the radio today. Or, to put it more politely, with a sound slightly edgier than The Fray, Clark should find entry to the American music scene effortless.

Although the band members are able musicians and the album is well produced, the reason for disappointment with Clark's debut album, "Two of a Kind," is clear. The disdain musicians and listeners share for the homogeneity enforced by record labels is well documented. It's bad enough that creativity is stifled in the United States; must foreigners also adhere to a strict, bland formula in order to make it as musicians?

Check out Clark at www.cdbaby.com/cd/clarkmusic.