Anyone who has spent any time in a professional recording studio would instantly agree that the final product from these sessions is never a “bargain” so-to-speak. To afford such a fantastic and necessary experience, musicians will do an insurmountable number of tasks to create a piece of art for the world to hear. Whether it’s selling their possessions, souls (as Roy Orbison cleverly scripted “Working For The Man”), receiving backing from a label or that annoying new fad of crowd-funding from fans, it’s ultimately an incredible commitment for artistic endeavour. Melbourne’s skate-hardcore-punks Clowns went one better however, their funding originated from their guitarist Joe Hansen’s incredible effort on Channel 7’s Million Dollar Minute earning $26,500. Want to hear the most punk-rock thing that happened in the last year? Joe thankfully said “screw that” to any grown-up ideas for his prize money, let’s make Clowns Album number two. This writer can thankfully say, not a single cent went to waste.
‘Human Error’ starts off as a slow-burning yet building amalgamation of heaviness that the listener knows is going to uppercut them directly in the jaw at any moment, which it does at one minute 16 seconds. Welcome to the onslaught and this opening track would rival California’s abrasive maestros Trash Talk. The train doesn’t stop there though, pardon the pun but it is literally full steam ahead for this quartet. ‘Never Enough’ is reminiscent to The Bronx in a live setting, ‘Euthanise Me’ and ‘Dead In The Suburbs’ channels hardcore supergroup OFF!, ‘Figure It Out’ sounds like it was co-written with powerviolence favourites NAILS as does ‘Is This A Test?’ and ‘Derailed’ further down this intense record’s track list.
Amazingly, “Bad Blood“ maintains its intensity, ‘Infected’ could be a B-Side from AFI’s “Very Proud Of Ya” and after a much welcome instrumental break in the title track; Clowns deliver ‘These Veins’ which would make SoCal punk legends The Adolescents proud. ‘Swallow Your Dreams’ (this scribe,’s’ prized song from the 14 cuts on the record) has an astonishing Cancer Bats’ groove with even more versatility showcased on ‘Play Dead’ a Stoner-sludge-metal interlude that EyeHateGod would cherish.
But how to close such a monstrous album?
This Victorian four-piece finish “Bad Blood” with what seems like an aggregation of all of the band members’ treasured types of heavy music into one colossal eleven minute journey of a song. Think a grudge-driven younger Gyroscope playing ‘Bro Hymn (Tribute)’ with members of Russian Circles. Sure it’s peculiar, but all the same it’s fascinating and completely captivating.
The best summary I can come up with after living this record is that Clowns have yet again matched their fierce and chaotic live show with an astonishing album. It should be of no surprise that the band should move into a proper headliner at crazed intimate venues, how it should be; fortunately the world is now becoming witness to it due to the quartet’s insane tour schedule. My advice? Get “Bad Blood”, let it run through your headphones to your brain, get infected and get on your skateboard. Because this “Evil DNA” actually stands for “Do Not Avoid”.