Raw musical energy and pointed social commentary delivered with maximum aggression are the essence of hardcore punk. It doesn’t whinge, it doesn’t slow down and it doesn’t dance around meaning with lyrical prose. It grabs you by the front of your shirt, lifts you off the ground and smacks you straight in the jaw. Melbourne hardcore punks Clowns have never had a problem rocking hard and telling it like it is but with the release of their sophomore LP Bad Blood they have really graduated into the musical big leagues.
Melbourne punk quartet Clowns aren’t fooling around. Their second album Bad Blood is bold, aggressive and has a message to convey.
Gone are the days of rushed records crammed to the brim of crowd favourites, this album sits perfectly as a whole and has some serious intention behind it, totally representative of the band’s current position in the Australian music scene.
Tempo shifting Human Error opens the 14 tracker with an ominous, distorted intro that quickly slams you into the reality of this nugget of punk gold. Bound to be a favourite Figure It Out is fast, short and brutal – the perfect song to stage dive head first into Noel Fielding style fashion punk with a half-assed mow hawk. Infected is probably the album’s heaviest track and has a really tasty breakdown featuring a vocal cameo from first class screamer Karina Utomo of Melbourne’s own High Tension.
The titular Bad Blood serves as a drawn out instrumental intro to These Veins which just so happens to be one of the greatest mosh tunes ever written. Closing out this no-holds-barred hardcore punk car crash is the colossal Human Terror, weighing in at 11 minutes and 20 seconds (as opposed to the single lined angry midget Derailed at 0:24). This beast features some stellar groves, legitimately dangerous guitar licks, bass of a thousands suns and an orgy of abrasive vocals and direct lyrical content. A true punk epic.
Bad Blood is the perfect successor to the band’s wildly successful 2013 breakout LP I’m Not Right. Loaded with new imagery which illustrates the bands growth since signing with Poison City and giving up the 2am slot at Pony. Sure it’s no feat of musical production and the band doesn’t experiment with anything out of their comfort zone, but that’s not really what this album is about.
Bad Blood is a must hear for all fans of the band or of punk in general. Though if you’re new to Clowns I highly recommend listening to I’m Not Right first so you can better appreciate how good these guys are!
Having recently wrapped up Bad Blood’s national tour (their home town show at The Bendigo with American Sharks, Flour and Bodies was freakin’ amazing) Clowns have taken their finely honed new material and next level live show across the pacific to blow the balls off SXSW. Make sure you give their album a spin before their return to Australian stages later this year.
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