Just two years since their inception, Australian trio Clamm have wasted no time in putting together their debut album, Beseech Me
Deep down in the southern hemisphere there lies a not very little island called Australia. The weather is warm and the country is awash with sparse, tranquil plains that soothe the inhabitants, but also kangaroos — of which there are many. In spite of this seemingly pre-determined happiness, a squirming anguish lies deep down under. Beneath the surface of spiders, snakes and seashells, something’s bugging these little rippers. Melbourne three-piece Clamm are the latest division of distortion to take up the gauntlet of the angry Aussie. Following in the footsteps of Drunk Mums, of Dune Rats and of course The Chats, Clamm’s brand of brazen punk rock is self-assured and focused.
Birthed within Melbourne’s underground scene under several names and banners, Clamm have come to reflect the city’s gritty musical ethos… “They began playing shows in 2019, sharing bills with virtually anyone who would have them”. Now 2021, and just two years after their inception, Clamm haven’t wasted any time in releasing out a debut album.
With a range of loudness that explores several degrees of sweltering Melbourne angst, Beseech Me is a ruthless yet lax thud in the Pacific. Kicking off with the loose and reckless Liar, we see the first of many lyrical incitements int heir second track ‘Repress’, with singer Jack Summers breaking through the prevailing backdrop of low-end snarl… “I don’t want your fucking money, I don’t want your fucking time … I don’t want you acting cool”. With these indignations, Clamm distance themselves from the breezy, idealistic lifestyle of the coastal capital.
Though these opening tracks are raw and lyrically assertive, they are plagued by a general looseness, and are at times a little lethargic. Fortunately, we’re met with a response as title-track ‘Beseech Me’ swamps in with a deftly considered opening that leans towards the more modern factions of post-punk. After this point, the album begins to mature. Complimenting the spiteful and biting vocals is a more independent rhythm section, tightening up the arrangement and at a safe distance from the guitars. This is perhaps best showcased in ‘Keystone Pols’. Letting the guitars off of the rhythmic clutch of bass and drums allows for a real beautiful menace to linger throughout the song. Similarly in I Feel Better Now, the guitar abrasively wails and screams continuously throughout this to minutes of abject pain.
Once past the primitive, antagonistic opening moments, this is an album that basks in its own vulgarity. It nods to those around it, but crucially swerves the humour. If there was a band to shepherd the Aussie scene far beyond the self-criticising, self-effacing highlights of years past, Clamm might just be it. Perhaps we have something new to talk about when we talk about Australia.