Does It Matter?
Fat Wreck Chords
***2020 was going to be a colossal year for CLOWNS. The Melbourne, Australian five-piece was locked into worldwide touring to support their 2019 full-length, and FAT debut, Nature/Nurture. The album included 11 blistering songs that veered from frantic punk to slower, more nuanced, and psychedelic-tinged rock. However, before the band could really roll out their epic touring plans, that nettlesome global pandemic hit, and the world was shut down. Luckily, Clowns are not one to rest on their laurels and harnessed their solitude to write music. The pause on being an active band allowed the group to record a batch of new songs, with two standing out as their favorites. “Does It Matter” is a hook-heavy raucous number that demonstrates the prowess of their current lineup, The b-side “Sarah” explores the dizzying highs and soul-destroying lows of love.
Nature / Nurture
Fat Wreck Chords
***Melbourne punks CLOWNS have never been ones to conform. The five-piece started life in 2010 as a more-or-less straightforward hardcore punk act, but over the course of their first three albums—2013’s I’m Not Right, 2015’s Bad Blood and 2017’s Lucid Again—they have steadily evolved and mutated their sound in whatever direction they felt like. It has always been loud but has become more nuanced over the years. The Fat Wreck debut Nature / Nurture continues down this snaking path—it’s 11 songs swerving right and left abruptly, veering from frenetic punk to slower more psychedelic-tinged rock, all while remaining a cohesive amalgamation of their three previous albums. While Nature / Nurture does contain some blistering, bellicose pun, it also has some of the slowest and most experimental songs Clowns have ever recorded. This is punk rock with a difference, that uses traditional facets of that genre as a foundation, but then builds upon that to create something that’s both utterly unique and incredibly exciting. That coupled with their intricate musicianship, clever, incisive lyrics and their phenomenally high energy live shows Clowns are quickly becoming a crowd favorite around the globe.