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Life is short, but the potency of Melbourne punks Clowns is truly infinite.
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A band who have been unleashing nothing but riotous bangers since first poking their fiery heads into the scene via their debut self-titled EP, 2023 finds the group in outrageously fine form with their upcoming fifth studio record: the aptly titled ENDLESS, aka a never-ending sonic gobstopper of adrenaline-fuelled perfection.
From the glistening theatricality of its title track opener, ENDLESS leaps head-first into pure 80s metal fare with FORMALDEHYDE, like a time travelling Delorean fitted with flame-throwers hurling you back in time. Or, to put it better, like the demon rising from the ashes armed with a keytar and evading the surrounding cops, as seen on the juicy 80s-esque cover art for ENDLESS. Alongside its thumping beats, dazzling guitars, occasional gallops, and raucous vocals, FORMALDEHYDE also dexterously introduces the pulsating thematic core of this brand new album; a deep and burning desire for and exploration of immortality and empowerment, with lyrics like “I fell from a drop ten stories high/Got up off the ground and I survived/That’s why I’m pretty sure I’ll never die” wielding a devil-may-care sneer and lashings of rebellion.
With prominent influences from the riotous likes of Motörhead, Iron Maiden, and home-grown icons AC/DC, SCARED TO DIE dazzles with duelling guitars and explosive fervour, while the more pensive THANKS 4 NOTHING shines with bassist Hanny J taking on lead vocal duties for this ode to cabin fever during the pandemic years.
… a never-ending sonic gobstopper of adrenaline-fuelled perfection … Out of the darkness Clowns have risen, and their journey continues to be an electrifying ride with no end in sight.
Embracing their own hardcore-hued early roots, BISEXUAL AWAKENING is a punk rock rager that swells around Clowns lead vocalist Stevie Williams’ own journey of sexual self-discovery, with some tongue-in-cheek lyricism firmly celebrating and spotlighting the community Williams found during his introspective exploration. And from a memorable electro-mayhem fever dream, I GOT A KNIFE which also features The Baboon Show’s Cecelia Boström, to the nostalgic raw bounce of Z3r0s_0n3s (that’s ‘zeroes and ones’ for those playing at home), every aspect of immortality and humanity, good and bad, takes full flight, from self-defence on the former to the eternally controversial AI tech dystopian nightmare ever-lurking in the corners of modern society.
Bouncing with some spiced-up pop on SARAH, a combustive toe-tapper that was brought to life as well as THANKS 4 NOTHING alongside legendary American producer Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, Underoath, Ariana Grande), ENDLESS razzles and dazzles like a bat outta the immortal flame with monstrous basslines (DEATH WISH), ballistic energy (ENOUGH’S ENOUGH), and the album’s penultimate track QUICKSAND that grows from acoustic ruminations into an emphatic barn-burner.
While it comes as zero surprise that the closing track for ENDLESS is a wild time for anyone who has ever witnessed a Clowns album from start to finish, with the band notorious for ending their albums on unconventional notes, A WIDOW’S SON is an 8 minute and 40 second ride that soundtracks the anonymous host of Aussie true crime podcast Casefile, detailing in spoken word the immortal and infamous tale of Australian icon Ned Kelly, painstaking set against some sharpened Wild West backing instrumentals. An odd choice to end on? Perhaps to some, but for Clowns it’s a neat, clever, and memorable bow to tie up their searing commentary on enduring legacies.
On the surface, ENDLESS is another classic Clowns album: fun, forceful, and with more than enough bite to stick under your skin from start to finish. But ENDLESS is also an exciting addition to Clowns and their own growing legacy, flexing the group’s newfound verve and creative exploration that sees them able to balance towering influences vividly along with their own unique sound. Out of the darkness Clowns have risen, and their journey continues to be an electrifying ride with no end in sight.
STANDOUT TRACKS: FORMALDEHYDE, LIVE FOREVER, Z3r0s_0n3s
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