The Cleves rare and highly regarded 1971 album has assumed the mantle of one of the most sought after artefacts from Australias progressive rock era. Alongside the other titles in Vicious Sloths re-issue series, this album makes for great listening. Three family members from New Zealand band The Clevedonaires relocated to Sydney and formed The Cleves in '68/'69. As one of a number of quality Sydney pop bands they had two singles, as well as an EP 'Music From Michael' released by Festival on the progresssive Infinity label. Along with the Bee Gees-like 'Don't Turn Your Back', the EP featured songs recorded for the soundtrack to the "Michael" episode of a short film anthology titled "Three to Go". All the songs on the EP had been segued together to form a thematic whole, and combined certain elements of the British music hall tradition (as espoused by The Beatles) with a more esoteric pop flavour a la The Move. By late 1970, the band was persuing a more diverse musical path. Issued on Infinity in January 1971, 'Cleves' is a prime example of where psych-pop gave way to a more progressive aesthetic. The album is dominated by lengthy tracks, atmospheric organ / guitar interplay and tight vocal harmonies. Gaye Brown's spirited vocals are in the manner of Dutch band Earth & Fire, highly regarded songstress Julie Driscoll and Affinity's Linda Hoyle. Tracks like 'Work Out' and 'Time Has Come' are based on a pop framework but are swelled by soaring fuzzed out leads, and Cressida-like keyboard passages. The highlights include an impressive rendering of the George Gershwin chestnut 'Summertime' (shades of Janis Joplin), then dynamic 'There is a Place' and the more reflective 'For A Time'. Before the album appeared the Cleves played backing on a sugary pop single with Sydney DJ Donnie Sutherland and after a couple of line-up changes left for America in October 1971, where they became known as Bitch. The band issued three singles for Warner Bros. before slippping from view. Mastered from the original tapes, and with the 'Music From Michael' EP as an added bonus, this CD comes in the original artwork with added liner notes.