At the time of Gene's introduction circa 1995, they were vilified by "those in the know" for being mere Smiths' plagiarists. A rather harsh accusation to make considering Gene's approach was considerably more brutal and their first two albums certainly stood on their own two feet, whether the influences were detectable or not. Eight years down the line and Clearlake possess very similar qualities to Gene and their second album 'Cedars' is a polished, confident effort that contains a few tracks that deserve to linger long in the memory. 'Wonder If The Snow Will Settle' uses an unsettling drum pattern and Jason Pegg's masterful swooping vocals, likewise 'I'd Like To Hurt You' is a stunning piece of music; one of those rare things; a song that is both unsettling and could capture the popular market; the moment where Pegg utters the line "It's true what they say. You have to watch the quiet ones" is a real statement of intent, like he really means it. In addition, 'Treat Yourself With Kindness' and its tense treated guitar lick builds itself into another anthem-in-waiting. Sadly, it's not all great especially 'Can't Feel A Thing' which gives the impression of Shed Seven in freefall. Like most bands then, Clearlake are best when they avoid convention.