Clockwork is an incredible alternative/punk band from Michigan, that plays moody, transcendental pop punk in the same open, visceral vein as Hot Water Music, Make Do And Mend, and Balance and Composure. Rarely do I write reviews for bands like this, because I think the pop punk scene has become so diluted with imposters and generic knock-offs. However, after these guys got my attention, I couldn’t shake them off. They play the music that first got you into punk—catchy enough to be listenable, but still filled with piss and vinegar.
This shit’s like Clockwork:
“Crashing” – Big ups right off the bat, for these guys choosing this song to open the EP. This song definitely shows the range of their songwriting, from being aggressively punk (like Hot Water Music) to having a slower, cleaner side that will make a Jimmy Eat World fan piss themselves (sorry, floor). This track ends with the classic line, “BACK TO WHERE I STARTED FROM” and feedback. This song doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it spins just the way you want it to. Perfect, guys.
“Worrywart” – “What are we so afraid of?” The question that starts the track is one that turns over and over in the stomach, much like the worry that the song describes. The guitars, repeatedly scaling up and down, add to the anxiety of the track, only to be resolved by a killer bass solo/break that I haven’t heard since NOFX. And yeah, I like NOFX. But, in short, Clockwork, the only thing we’re afraid of is that you’ll stop making music.
“Captain or Trapped In?”- Besides the obviously killer title, this track kicks so much ass, that I won’t say too much about it. Honestly, this song, with its perfect balance of aggression and melody, is probably my favorite on the EP. “Where did everybody go?” Regardless of genre or musical preference, this is the question of our generation. No one ever truly stays the same, and those who do are left behind—this fear, this anxiety, is captured perfectly in this song, and they refuse to truly resolve the song, forcing the listeners to answer their crises alone. Nailed it, Clockwork.
“Ad and Subtract” – Powerful vocals, fresh hooks, and the most fun lead riffs; this song is a great closer to the EP. With this track, they utilize everything, and it more than pays off, making a strong social statement while maintaining their catchy, hook-laden song structure. I can’t get over what a breath of fresh air this release is. In a stagnant scene, thick with merch-junkies and consumers, they make the horrifying statement, “Now, we’re walking billboards.” Incredible.
I can’t emphasize what a great release this is, boys and girls. Clockwork is relevant while being unique, and powerful without being tactless. They make pretty music with aggressive parts, and aggressive music with pretty parts. They are everything you want them to be, and yet, everything you didn’t think they could be. Do yourself a favor and buy this 7”.
Clockwork is your new favorite band.