You’ll find no sugar-coated truths on the Australian trio’s hard-hitting debut LP.
Words: Cherry Walker | Photo: Oscar O’shea
If you’re looking for raw, honest and driven punk music look no further than CLAMM’s debut album Beseech Me. Fuelled by invigoratingly fast drums, a backbone of driven bass, siren like guitars, raw vocals and honest lyrics, CLAMM’s debut scratches a punk itch we’ve had for a long while.
Constant purveyors of the real world, first single Keystone Pols slams a critical eye onto authority, bringing attention to the kind of oppression which cops worldwide mass-produce. Liar, the bands follow up and second single speaks on dealing with mental health and the voices we have that may not be too kind to us. Taking the well-known metaphor of the proverbial black dog, vocalist Jack Summers sings “I know it’s coming for me/ I see see see see see/ It’s black and it’s a dog/ And I’m in its black smog smog,” a simple yet real pastiche of a metaphor we all know well. It is this kind of lyrical honesty around situations that others may shy away from, that make CLAMM truly stand out.
Beseech Me’s title track is another stand out, a reactory song pushing away at a single file lifestyle. With lyrics such as “Beseech me/ I’m waiting/ I’m asking,” the track cries out at wanting more from a life run by and for others. Simply put, Beseech Me is a track about craving a lifestyle outside of the current; coupled with an amazing bridge of fuzz-heavy guitars that push the idea of being outside the box, it’s no wonder this track became the title track. Repress, the album’s second track, helps drive this message home. Lyrics “I don’t want your fucking money/ I don’t want your fucking time/ I don’t want your holiday payout/ I just want to be outside,” speak about a life of wanting, of being confined by the parameters that ‘the man’ has set for us our entire lives. CLAMM don’t want to be confined and neither do we.
The entire album carries a brutal honesty throughout; of course, it wouldn’t be a CLAMM record without this. Both the first and second half of the full-length bolster this honesty, whether it be about personal struggles with mental illness or personal struggles with the society in which we live. That’s it; the album feels entirely personal and speaks to the many of us who feel tied down to things we hate. In a world of mass-produced media, CLAMM refresh us with their angry brand of realism; there’s no sugar-coating here and that is exactly what is needed in today’s oversaturated and political climate.
Whilst CLAMM are tackling the things that others simply won’t, there is a heavy optimism and a theme of self-betterment throughout the album. It’s rare to find an album that can be both so rooted in realism yet optimistic at the same time, but Beseech Me tows the line gracefully, raucous guitars and all. Other stand out’s include Cardiac Ablation and Sucker Punch, both taking an indie-like feel and twisting it tonally into something entirely punk. Its unique, its real and its exactly what we need.
CLAMM’s debut album Beseech Me – recorded by Nao Anzai – is out now via Meat Machine. Find the band on Spotify here.