Clowns – Lucid Again
Released: 12th May 2017
Stevie Williams : Vocals
Rod Goon : Guitar
Will Robinson : Guitar
Hanny J: Bass/Vocals
Jake Laderman : Drums
Melbourne’s Clowns return with a new album, Lucid Again, a nine track fork in the road moment for the band as they evolve their punk sound into so much more. Bad Blood, the band’s 2015 album recorded in home town Cheltenham (where the band grew up) in a complex that houses a bakery, a cattery and a morgue, and right across the road from a cemetery was vastly different to this new beast. Whereas Bad Blood was predominantly a hardcore punk album with only a few tracks featuring the more ‘accessible’ Clowns material, the new record dives back into melody but also as they title suggests heads into more expansion, more psychedelia, more whirring guitars.
The title track sets the scene somewhat eerily, 20 seconds of silence had me reaching for the volume thinking something was wrong with the playback. Alas, it was all part of the charade as vocalist Stevie Williams and band slowly but surely sway into a track that on first listen sounds nothing like anything previously attempted by the band. Nevertheless it works, especially when that patent Clowns groove kicks in and elevates the track to the punkier fill we all enjoy. It seems a growing maturity within the band has enhanced both songwriting and arrangements and a definite spike for the band on Lucid Again.
Previously released singles, ‘Pickle’, ‘Dropped My Brain’ and last year’s superb, ‘Destroy the Evidence’ feature. Straight up punk rock melody with that touch of chaos. It’s what makes Clowns one of the best up and coming bands in Australia and one of the most entertaining live acts going around. If you liked those tracks, head for ‘Like a Knife at a Gun Fight’, ‘Noise in the Night’ and ’15 minutes of Infamy’, they will all appeal, the addition of female bass player and backing vocalist, Hannie J, a recent addition to the band, adds to the sound superbly, in particular her backing vocals that you can’t help but sing along too in no time.
The concluding 9 minute epic, ‘Not Coping’ is clearly the shining light on Lucid Again, however. Drummer, Jake Laderman installs the killer beat that lifts this track to another level. Whirring guitar riffs, a pulsating expansion of consciousness, Williams interjecting only at the introduction and ending of this ball tearer of a track whilst the rest of the band go berserk concocting riff after riff all engulfed by that Laderman beat.
Another progression by one of the most important bands in Australian music at present. With the band’s continual appetite for touring both here and overseas, Clowns are quickly garnering the kind of reputation that could propel them to something so much bigger. Deservedly so.