by GE 138.
Anything that breaks up the monotony of all the "singer/songwriters" and "emo pop-punk band" releases I get offered to review on a daily basis around here is looked at as a godsend nowadays, and this album from the collective duo known as Clown Core simply called Van, is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gray and dreary world of banality and musical insincerity. It's not Punk, per se, but it's interesting, it's catchy, and most importantly, it's good. It's really and truly weird, but it rocks. Hard too.
Opening track Flat Earth pretty much tells you what you're in for when you listen to this release: screams galore, metalcore riffs, jazzy sax solos, blazing drum beats both electronic and acoustic, awkward horn honks, and it's all being performed by 2 guys wearing clown masks. I mean, seriously, sounds great right? Throw in the fact that there are some phat booty shaking grooves as well as blast beat driven bouts of insanity that make the music sound like it belongs on a Rob Zombie movie soundtrack. The production on this is great, sounds amazing when it's turned up loud, and as a follow up to Clown Core's last release, Toilet, this release blows away that last one. It's like they've gotten better at mixing things up, from pretty lullabye like sax melodies that segue into this nightmarish world full of EDM beats, or going from screamo grindcore riffs to 90's disco infused toe tapping goodness. It's like this music is for kids with ADD, with the short length of each tune keeping you from getting bored, but leaving you a bit disappointed when a good riff just suddenly stops. It seems a fair trade for music that's this interesting and good. I wish I could tell you that Clown Core sounds like this band or that band, but they really don't. I mean they do, but they sound like a bunch of bands thrown into a blender and then spliced and glued back together all mixed up. Like I said you gotta hear it to understand what I'm talking about. I think it's great.
There's lots of speculation as to who Clown Core really is, but I could give a shit less because as long as they keep making music that's this interesting and varied and creative, and most of all good, then I can leave them with their cloak of anonymity if that's what they choose to do with themselves. The videos they make for the tunes on here, like the one for the title track Van (I want to die in a submarine accident!!!), Existence (I... Am... Sad), Keyboard (where they shit on a keyboard and play a beat around the noise the shit makes as it sits on the keyboard), Computers (To maximize resources this stimulation is what everyone is experiencing right now and the cycle repeats) where they crash their clown van into a pole in the parking lot of a Wienerschnitzel, Flat Earth (The earth is flat because you are fat), and Song, which is one of those beats I alluded to earlier, where they could of rocked that shit for another 5 minutes and I would not of complained but alas, they end it after 36 seconds, and all these videos are almost essential listening to this release. I mean yeah, the music stands up on it's own, but the videos just make it oh so much better. If you don't believe me, YouTube that shit. You will NOT be disappointed.
Fuck, I could go on and on about this release from Clown Core, but I'm just gonna end it here by saying this could easily be one of the best things released this year. Not really Punk per se, but it's one of the most Punk things to come out in a long time, if that makes any sense to you. Mandatory listening. I love this shit. Clown Core. Fucking aye!
I don't know what label is responsible for this work of Art, but I love them for it. Available digitally only on the Clown Core Bandcamp page, which you can get to be clicking here. The band also has a trippy website full of all sorts of interesting things which you can see by clicking here. Clown Core Facebook page: here, Clown Core Instagram page: here, Spotify page here, and Apple Music link is right here.