Think of Mumbai and you’ll be conjuring up images of Dust, Heat, Large crowds packed into narrow streets and trains and Dabbawallahs sprinting between houses faster than an HIV epidemic. From amidst all this chaos emerges 4-piece band, Slow Down Clown. Their sound is a freaky yet fresh blend of soft folk, mid-2000s era alternative rock and distorted punk.
Slow Down Clown recently released their album ‘Forget the Night’ and it is up for download (free) here.
We decided to do a capsulated review for each song, and giving a judgement together with a little more info later. That is, the usual MoZ style of reviewing.
Shoreline clocks in at little over 7 minutes, unusually long for an opening track but its worth the wait. Following a Coldplay-esque intro/verse layered with acoustic guitar, the chorus brings in distortion and some solid pace. Vocalist Vitek Goyal’s voice is just where it needs to be- Never too over the top. All this makes great atmospheric buildup for the brief, chaotic breaks of distorted intensity that dot the song, after all what storm is complete without the calm before the surge?
2. In a Moment
‘In a Moment’ really brings out Slow Down Clown’s alternative roots with a nostalgic blend of 2000s alternative rock. The phat bass line that held the opening track together doesn’t let up here. A pleasant touch is the super-bluesy guitar solo that brings a much-needed classic-rock edge to the alternative proceedings.
3. Keep You
“Keep You”’s opening suits a blistering rock track more than an alternative one. The melodic hooks of the last 2 songs aren’t as strong with here, but there’s enough variance in the pace, distortion in the guitar and stylistic switch-ups to merit this one a listen.
4. You Lie
“You Lie” opens drums-first with what initially sounds like hand-percussion but upon closer listening is a snare with its wires turned off. There’s a touch of melancholy to this slower track that brings to mind Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”, but without the heavy chorus. Like the other tracks, the distortion is brought in whenever there needs to be a feel change, in this case jumping from melancholy to frustration when the former seems like it might overflow. The words tell the tale of a love story that’s gone off the rails.This tight album though, never does.
‘Suicide city’ continues with the same formula that’s defined most of the album. Semi-acoustic soft rock type verses with distorted choruses. Unforunately this one lacks the hard edge or melodic hooks of the standout tracks on the album, skip to track 6.
“Stupid Sea” ‘s intro reminds you of Don McLean’s 1970s hit “American Pie” but has a more nostalgic vibe than the deep, subtle sadness of McLean’s song.
7.The Disappearing Boy
“The disappearing Boy” begins with a stronger drum and bass presence that sets it apart from the other tracks. Drummer Arfaaz shines here, shying away from the simple beats of previous songs for a more varied, interesting groove that really breaks the mold. Definitely one of the album’s stand-out tracks.
“Perfect” brings the band’s folk background to the fore, creating a soundscape that brings to mind kites soaring across open fields. There’s some interesting breaks on the bass guitar here too.
“Bandra Girls”… having spent many years in Bandra myself, I was expecting a lot from this track and it didn’t disappoint. Throwing out a produced sound entirely to recreate the effect of a few guitars and a hand drum in a small room with friends sharing herb of the non-ayurvedic kind really works for this one.
The intimate atmosphere gives way to a straight rock sound midway through. Overall this song manages to capture everything Slow Down Clown are about and the stylistic changes and melody are a big boost.
Overall this album is an excellent debut album for Slow Down Clown. Despite some filler stuff here and there, the many stand-out tracks and signature sound are sure to have alternative rock fans foaming at the ear-loins. Be sure to check these guys out at the NH7 weekender in Pune, I know Moment of Zen will.
The Slow Down Clown members ::
Arfaaz – Drums/ Backing Vocals
Anurag – Lead Guitar/ Backing Vocals
Kenny – Bass
Together what a fabulous band :