Monday, May 18, 2015

Hey Clown-Elevator Rock


Released on April 27th, "Elevator Rock" is the latest release from Ontario's Hey Clown. If this five-piece band's name sounds familiar there's a very good reason for that. A little over a year ago I covered Hey Clown's self-titled EP and then I followed that review up with a band interview. At the time I described Hey Clown's sound as a "blend hard rock, heavy metal and hardcore" and in a way not much has changed for this Dunnville/Hamilton-based five-piece. Wait, let me rephrase that last part. It should read "in a good way not much has changed" seeing as "Elevator Rock" is more of the same only better. Or to put it another way, "Elevator Rock" is like a mutated mad dog that has been tampered with genetically in order to make it as ferocious and blood-crazed as it can conceivably be! So no, "Elevator Rock" is not for the weak of heart of for that matter the week willed! But we'll get back to that in a minute. For the five guys in  Hey Clown this new EP represents the end of a long journey. All of the hard work has finally paid off with the Nick Ginn-produced "Elevator Rock" showcasing the full-potential of this emotionally-charged/ramped-up punk metal outfit! While rage-induced front-man Andrew Shaw spits forth foam-inducing poison with his venomous voice the jagged-sharp guitar strings of Toui Manikhouth & Andrew Rous neatly slice and dice what little is left of the listener until there is nothing to be found except for half-melted studio walls splashed red by gallons of blood! The aggressive nature of 2014's "Hey Clown" EP cannot hold a candle to "Elevator Rock" as everything about this hardcore-tinged hard rock band has been amplified to the point of full-tilt hack and slash destruction! With the rhythm section of David Pettigrew and Cody Morris (bass & vocals and drums respectively) all pissed off and ready to fight it's way out by any means necessary, Hey Clown has emerged from it's brief slumber all the more volatile and dare I say frightening? Weirdly enough Hey Clown's latest release reminds me of a old seventies movie I saw when I was 11 or maybe 12. For the life of me I can't remember whether it was a "real" movie or just a TV one, but what's really important is the films one scary scene. Apparently a demon or a some sort of evil spirit had been trapped in a mason jar of all things and after the jar was accidentally opened all hell broke loose! That one scene messed with my mind for years to come and I still remember how unnerving the whole thing felt. Playing "Elevator Rock" a few times over (back to back as it were to get a good feeling for this knife-stab of a EP!) gave me the same odd feeling of uneasiness. Only this time around I also found my innards all tangled up in excitement with a sample slice of invigoration tagging along for the ride! That might be a hard concept for some to wrap their heads around, but one thing's for sure when it comes to Hey Clown. This Ontario act makes aggressive music for aggressive people. Everything about "Elevator Rock" suggests that ideal and from the rumbling sounds of Hey Clown's newest EP it sure sounds as if that isn't going to change anytime soon. But then again, why would anyone want it to? Shouldn't we have explosive outlets like this? God knows I think we should.     

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