Clowns Take Us Track By Track Through Their New Album ‘Lucid Again’

Melbourne punks Clowns are back on the scene, having just unleashed their explosive new album, titled Lucid Again.

Clowns manage to pack in A LOT across Lucid Again‘s nine brash and blazing tracks, with a powerful cocktail of punk, hardcore, rock and melodic pop elements, resulting in a layered and complex gut punch of a record.

To get a window into the stories behind Lucid Again, Clowns have shared with Music Feeds a detailed explanation of each track on the album, out now. Stream the record here and delve into the story of Lucid Again, below.

1. Lucid Again

‘Lucid Again’ is easily the hardest song to listen to on this record; that’s why we made it the first track. I know whenever I listen to a record, I always give the artist the respect of at least making it through the first song; if you haven’t caught me by the end of side A, I might not flip it over to side B. Being the first and title track of the record means that people like us will at least give it the dignity of a full play, which is exactly what it needs for the listener to fully understand the song and let its sonic elements come to fruition. I know I sound like a wanker right now, but essentially we wanted people to put the record on and think that it’s not playing. Then, once they realise that it is, we want them to think that the record is potentially busted due to its radio-ish tonal quality. Then after a minute and a half of confusion for the listener (who was probably expecting the record to burst into a high quality, d-beat/wall of guitars from the first song), BAM! We slam you with the sound that you were anticipating, when you least expect it. We had to make this the first track because if we put it anywhere else in the record we were afraid people wouldn’t listen to the whole song.

2. Like a Knife at a Gunfight

After bewildering our listeners, we thought it would only be fair to now give them a dose of Clowns that they can chew, swallow and easily digest. This track is the song that is most reminiscent of our previous record Bad Blood, while also slowly introduces new elements including psychedelia and dual guitar parts. To give the track a real body behind it, we laid down distortion drenched tones from a 1980 Les Paul Gold Top through a Marshall head and slammed a Rat pedal over a 1963 Fender Precision Bass. To compliment the distortion-drenched low end, we introduced a 1965 Epiphone Crestwood for that twangy, garage-esque tone. We’ve all felt a little bit ‘Like A Knife At A Gunfight’ before, and on this track, we are trying to send a message that if you are left feeling this way, you may as well go down leaving your enemies with some stitches.

3. Dropped My Brain

No punk record is complete without a hate song, and here’s ours. On this particular track, we really tried to embellish the psychedelic-garage-hardcore-pop-punk formula that is unique to the record. If you think we have mixed too many flavours within this recipe, then sorry but you should have ordered something else. To the naked ear, it’s pretty accessible despite its teenage angst-inspired lyrics, but the more you listen and deconstruct it there is a lot that went into it. The main guitar melody plays to 7 bars of 4/4, the three verses of the song are actually played differently each time very slightly and, yes, that is a three part harmony you can hear in the back of the chorus. Of the reviews I have read on this record, people have commended us on our newly found sonic maturity. The fact is that we have been capable of writing music like this for years now, it’s just not what we have wanted to do. Also describing our new music as mature would insinuate that we as people have become better musicians and matured mentally, which we have not.

4. Pickle

On the topic of introducing new themes, we decided to experiment with a song that flows at a different tempo to any other song we have written ever. I’m actually really stoked with how this song came out and it’s an excellent change of pace to be able to play live. It’s still violent and powerful, but in a different way to many of our other songs. It also comes across more clearly as a punk song when we play it at a show. We gave it a cute and playful name because the lyrics are actually quite dark and bring me back to a time in my life when I had a lot of issues. Who doesn’t like a good juxtaposition?

5. Noise in the Night

We love classic Australian bands like The Sunnyboys and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, and this song is our homage to them. While being mindful to keep our sound ceded in ’80s punk, we definitely were inspired by the songwriting techniques and guitar tones of Australian garage music. For this track, we heavily featured the warm twang of the previously mentioned 1965 Epiphone Crestwood Custom through a Sound City head. Our songs are often drowned in distortion, but we wanted to experiment and prove to unsuspecting Clowns fans that clean guitars can be powerful too. If you listen closely, you will notice that for 90% of the song, the bassline is exactly the same; a songwriting technique we have never used before and were stoked to introduce on this record. Also if you are a crazed paranoid aluminium-foil- hat-wearing conspiracist like myself, I think you will relate to these lyrics. They are my favourite lyrics of the whole album.

6. Destroy the Evidence

We recorded this song in July of 2016 as a one-off single, and it has been released for about seven months already with an accompanying 7″ and video clip. It’s another journey down the unexplored territory of our garage-hardcore-psych- pop-punk. We actually wrote this song about two to three weeks before recording it, and without fully thinking it through we slammed it on a 7″. It’s a reminder to me that it’s easy to over-think your own music and try to add too much, but sometimes less is more and it’s important to let your art grow and evolve naturally without putting in too many barriers. The vocal tone and melody was supposed to sound like a Ramones song, but I think it ended up sounded more like Marked Men or Night Birds.

7. Forensic Science

At about this stage of the record, fans of our older works might be a bit disheartened to realise that vocally, this is a very melodic album. So we thought it would only be appropriate to at least feature one track with entirely screamed vocals. If you are a hardcore fan, don’t get too excited because we have once again pushed against our previous formulas by layering the vocals over what is probably the most twangy and poppy music of the entire record. Hope you like it, but if not; sorry, not sorry.

8. Fifteen Minutes of Infamy

Me and our drummer Jake wrote this number together, and we had our spirit animal Tim Rogers of You Am I (among other fames) in to record a guest pick slide on this track. (Yes, one pick slide, that’s it. Because that’s how we roll.) It’s easily the most distortion drenched track on the record with us using the previously mentioned 1980 Les Paul Gold Top Deluxe and 1963 Fender Precision bass drenched in Rat distortion. To add an extra layer of intensity we tracked the second guitar on a heavily distorted 1965 Gibson Trini Lopez and with a touch of the chorus which we thought would add a TSOL vibe to the track but maybe ended up sounding a bit more like a ’90s revivalist sound. To experiment melodically, I tried to harness a melody that you could potentially hear in a Descendents song that they never wrote. Friends of mine have praised this song as their favourite on the record for the three-part harmony the chorus, these people seem strange and foreign to me now.

9. Not Coping

Obviously, this is the final track of the record. Not because we necessarily wanted it to be, but because after finishing this song we realised that we weren’t going to be able to fit any more music on an LP. People have been asking us to play our 12-minute closer to our previous record Bad Blood (if you are one of these people, you should heavily consider buying a ticket to our next Aussie tour 😉 ) but we haven’t because for some reason we decided to make it a dual guitar song at a time when we only had one guitarist and we even used a didgeridoo for some stupid unknown reason.

We wanted to give people another long song, seeing as our last attempt at this kind of songwriting seemed to meet critical acclaim. Perhaps it was a bit ambitious, but anyways I hope you like it. There is also an intentionally placed subliminal message somewhere within this song. If anyone reading this is able to find it and decipher its message, come up to me at a show and as a reward for your hard work and obvious lack of better things to do, I will buy you a drink of your choice*.

*drink may not actually be of your choice and will most likely be a glass of water depending on whether this album bombs or not.

‘Lucid Again’ is out now. Grab a copy here.

Clowns – Lucid Again Australian Tour

Tickets are on sale now 

Friday, 2nd June

The Billabong, Kuranda

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 3rd June

Railway Hotel, Darwin

Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 4th June

The Boston, Perth

Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 8th June

Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 9th June

The Zoo, Brisbane

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 10th June

The Small Ballroom, Newcastle

Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 11th June

Imperial Hotel, Sydney

Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 15th June

Enigma, Adelaide

Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 16 June

The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart

Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 17 June

The Corner, Melbourne

Tickets: Official Website

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