Melbourne’s Clowns return with a new album, “Lucid Again”, a nine-track fork in the road moment for the band as they evolve their hardcore punk sound into so much more. After “Bad Blood”, the band’s 2015 release that only had a few tracks featuring the more ‘accessible’ Clowns material, the new record dives back into melody, but also, as the title suggests, expands with whirring guitars.

The band pulls shirts over heads and delivers a punch to the guts with tracks like 15 Minutes of Infamy and punchy single Dropped My Brain, solid flag bearers of Clowns’ sound. But Like a Knife at a GunfightPickle, and Noise in The Night delve back into swirling, psychedelic guitars in between rampant riffs. Even Destroy the Evidence and closer Not Coping, both brutal bangers, open things up with a steady pace and breakdowns to shine. It’s this yin and yang approach that makes “Lucid Again” simply awesome.

Previously released singles, Pickle, Dropped My Brain and last year’s superb, Destroy the Evidence feature straight-up hardcore punk rock melody with that touch of chaos. It’s what makes Clowns one of the best up-and-coming bands in Australia and one of the most entertaining acts going around. If you liked those tracks, head for Like a Knife at a Gun Fight, Noise in the Night and 15 minutes of Infamy.

The concluding 9-minute epic, Not Coping, is clearly the shining light of “Lucid Again”, however. Jake Laderman (drums) installs the killer beat that lifts this track to another level. Whirring guitar riffs, a pulsating expansion of consciousness, while Stevie Williams (vocals) interjecting only at the introduction and ending of this ball-tearer of a track as the rest of the band go berserk.

Another progression by one of the most important bands in Australian music at present, with the band’s continual appetite for touring both here and overseas, Clowns are quickly getting the kind of reputation that could propel them to something so much bigger that’s highly deserved.

Grab your copy of “Lucid Again” now via https://clownsband.bandcamp.com/album/lucid-again.