Clowns – Bad Blood


Artist

Album

Bad Blood

Label

Poison City Records

Year

2015

For Fans Of

OFF! - Outright

Summary

Clowns are spitting fire.

Rating

88 / 100

The balance between keeping it fresh and staying true to your punk-rock roots is hard to maintain. Luckily for our ears, Melbourne punks Clowns have pulled it off effortlessly with their latest LP Bad Blood. The assault of their strangled vocals and invasive guitars keeps it real, but, at the same time, the record is dynamic enough to indicate that Clowns aren’t content with salvaging success off recording the same full length over and over again.

That’s not to say that they’ve lost their trademark zeal. The album’s opener ‘Human Error’ pants out in intensity, and tracks like ‘It Stops With You’ and ‘Is This A Test’ are pure hostility with a rapid beat. ‘Play Dead’ is splintering; even when it slows down, it retains its atmospheric fury. Don’t ask us how the screaming note at the end is held for so long; we have no answers, just admiration.

As aforementioned, not only do Clowns excel in doing what they do best, they also show an impressive degree of development. The album is surprisingly diverse – ‘Never Enough’ is textured by shades of NOFX-style punk crossed with high, throat-searing hardcore vocals, whereas ‘Infected’ toys with demonic, Count Your Blessings’-era Bring Me The Horizon uncleans.

‘These Veins’ is the standout track of ‘Bad Blood’, from its subtle aggression to its frantic end. Energy seeps into the track, and its jarring lyrics paint Clowns as intriguingly nuanced artists. ‘I’m gonna lose control and take people with me’ is bound to prompt a double take.

Instrumentally, Clowns haven’t phoned it in either. Titular track ‘Bad Blood’ and closer ‘Human Terror’ both prove the case in point. The latter transitions from clean feeling sounds to grippingly raw ones, with uncharacteristic, perfectly candid vocals. Suffice to say, its 11 minutes don’t feel long.

Conclusion

Clowns have proven on ‘Bad Blood’ they’re capable of development, diversity and preserving the spark that makes their energy so damn enjoyable. The nuances of the record make it more accessible, and it’s a guarantor of the simple truth that Clowns’ loyal following is just going to keep expanding.

Tracklisting

1. Human Error

2. Never Enough

3. Euthanise Me

4. Figure It Out

5. Infected

6. Bad Blood

7. These Veins

8. Swallow Your Dreams

9. It Stops With You

10. Is This A Test

11. Derailed

12. Dead In The Suburbs

13. Play Dead

14. Human Terror

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.