Melbourne’s explosive punk-trio CLAMM have released their brilliant debut album, Beseech Me, out now on Meat Machine (Crack Cloud, N0V3L). The band’s previous singles, ‘Keystone Pols‘, ‘Liar‘ and ‘Beseech Me‘ have drawn support from BBC 6Music, in particular Steve Lamacq, which is a barometer of greatness in itself. CLAMM are like a clarion call for a generation facing an age of uncertainty, using a powerful brand of bracing punk to deliver this soundtrack for the evicted souls of modern conventions.
However, CLAMM arrived completely apart from any established scene or sound. They began playing shows in 2019, sharing bills with virtually anyone who would have them. Since early childhood, Jack Summers (vocals/guitar) and Miles Harding (drums) had been friends and musical collaborators. Under various banners, they performed for years with friends and siblings across Melbourne’s underground landscape. It wasn’t until they found Maisie Everett (vocals/bass) that the CLAMM picture was complete. Their quick ascension drew support from KEXP, Triple J, Triple J Unearthed, Double J, Triple R, and shared bills with the aforementioned Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Amyl and the Sniffers in 2019.
Beseech Me, recorded with Nao Anzai (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Floodlights, NO ZU), offers up ten tracks that explore the margins of fury and tenderness. ‘Keystone Pols’ churns like the bowels of a factory, with an alarming guitar riff that sirens repeatedly. On the demonic 6/8 chug ‘Repress’, Jack begins a snarled plea: “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.” About ‘Liar’, Jack says, “it’s about dealing with a voice in your head that isn’t always telling the truth.”
Pointing sharpened question marks at power and oppression, CLAMM’s explicit lyrics and indignation is aimed at those who press dents into a struggling world. Despite their frustration, CLAMM also maintain a shining optimism in their ethos. Their tumultuous rhythms and fuzzed mechanical guitar are a fierce counterpoint to messages of anti-violence and self-betterment.