Burlington finds Clues on North Ave.

In the midst of a college tour, the band Clues, led by former Unicorns’ singer Alden Penner, stopped by an old, off-white, tattered garage on North Ave on Nov. 6 for a show sponsored by the Burlington design collective Tic Tic. To an anxiously waiting crowd, Clues took the stage with their layered noise rock. The bass and percussion heavy music was a digression from the previous, lighter-toned opening bands, but the near ambient rock brought the crowd to their feet, dancing and nodding to the atmosphere of sound. Penner formed the band with for?mer Arcade Fire percussionist Brendan Reed, he said. The longtime friends from Montreal finally found the time to begin a band in 2007, after “getting over feeling like being a band was a fatalistic thing,” Penner said. Unlike most bands that believe in creating songs through a mutual process of collaboration, Penner has an alternate take on Clues. “I don’t think that’s happened yet,” he said. “We’ve decided to not wait for one moment. Lots of bands concentrate on superficial aspects, but to us, our unity is in friendship.” “We form ourselves around these songs,” Penner said. According to Penner, the five members of Clues, with two percussionists and two brass players, often split up into teams when creating songs. “For example, the percussionists discuss creating polyrhythmic melodies; it’s a very involved process with lots of conversation,” he said. Penner declined to describe the band much further. “When you are something, you don’t talk about it. Music has a particular lived beauty. I don’t find a lot of words to describe music,” he said. Yet, Penner said he realizes that “[all music] has existed in some capacity before.” While Montreal allowed Clues to “crystallize and make connections with the past,” Penner said Clues’ important task “is to travel more, not carve a niche in Montreal.” In the midst of Clues’ long-awaited set, the police cut the show short. While the police did not enter the building, the crowd immediately quieted down and shuffled out after a few minutes of confusion. Although a sudden ending for Clues, Penner and his band provided a more than satisfactory soundtrack to a previously Clue-less city.