If you consider yourself a fan of hardcore/punk and haven’t heard of Clowns before, then you’re definitely missing out on Melbourne’s hidden gem. As someone who has never listened to the band before, what strikes as impressive is the five-piece’s ability to string together a nine-track feast of bizarre anthems and chaos melodies. Lucid Again is their third effort and it shows that the band has progressed with their music, with each track surrounding a kind of energy only found when nurtured to the core. You can tell how effortless it was to make this record because it seems like they knew what to do this whole time. Bands tend to stick to their roots and follow a certain formula but these guys know how to experiment and leave their comfort zones behind.
When you listen to opener “Lucid Again”, you don’t know what to expect from the slow-burner of a track. Stevie Williams on vocals sounds calm and collected but then in the middle of the track, there’s a beautiful, raging build-up happening amongst the instrumentation and his vocals. For a six-minute number, it builds suspense because you’re not sure what to expect – but when you hear that insane guitar riff and Williams’ passionate vocals, you already know the record’s gonna be good. “Noise In the Night” is another tasty track off the LP, showcasing a little bit of punk with similarities to bands like NOFX and Rise Against. Angsty and rough, the lyrics in this one are intense, especially when Williams yells, “Do you get pleasure from my fear?” For a number, it’s in-your-face and angry and in fine fashion, this would be something my fourteen-year-old self would listen to after a self-loathing day. It’s unapologetic and hard-hitting – how punk should be.
Overall, Lucid Again proves that Clowns is a next level band. Not necessarily in punk/hardcore, but in the overall scene of rock n’ roll. They’ve taken their music to new heights and for that, they’ve earned my total respect. The Melbourne five-piece has grown their sound into something extraordinary. Sure, they may be local but that doesn’t mean you can’t compare them to the greats of the 1980’s. Clowns don’t fuck around because they prove that Australian punk/hardcore isn’t dead; it’s thriving like never before.