Klonns band photo


Booking Agent EU/UK : Diego Bustamante
Booking Agent Latin America : Diego Bustamante

A while back, Klonns released a compilation cassette titled New Wave of Blackened Japanese Hardcore. It was both a prankish gesture and seemingly apt. There’s always tons of hardcore emerging from Japan, so designating a “new wave” presents significant issues, of periodization and coterie — but it’s certainly the case that some terrific, metal-infused hardcore has recently been recorded and released: see Kruelty’s Immortal Nightmare (2020) and especially Moonscape’s Monolith (2021). Tune in to those records and you’ll hear bunches of doom and death and crusty ’core, but “blackened hardcore”? Not so much. So what about the current music of Klonns, the Tokyo-based band that declared the cresting of that putative new wave? One thing’s for certain: these guys are pissed.

Their music is also very fast, and very, very loud. Crow batters and crunches past in just over seven minutes, with three breaks in the riffing, blasting and growling that suggest the presence of four distinct songs. A certain sort of listener will find the intensity and heaviosity quite engaging: if you can imagine Dehumanization-period Crucifix and that Rigor Mortis tune on the Something to Believe In comp birthing a squalling, thrashing lovechild, then you can imagine Klonns’ baseline aesthetic. “Ghoul” pulls back on the record’s dominant pace marginally and may be the strongest song on the EP. But it all rushes past so quickly, and with such sustained ill intent, that Crow is likely best experienced in its brief entirety.

That’s all well and good, and with music this forceful, does it really matter what we call it? Depends on how you engage that aforementioned flood of sound, always over-saturating places like Bandcamp and small label and cassette-oriented spaces for music’s distribution. In our current conjuncture of ever-evolving information networks and increasingly niche sub-sub-genres, how you categorize and jigger jargon has real consequences for stuff like search terms and hashtags. Bands might express profound contempt for marketing mechanisms and capital’s colonization of every space of aesthetic and cultural production (and this reviewer vibes with that contempt). Klonns’ music surely isn’t interested in making anyone feel like a satisfied customer.

While Klonns have the power and the grandiosity of those classic Japanese bands, their chaotic and noisy sound takes just as much from grittier crust and noise-punk bands from Confuse to D-Clone and Zyanose and beyond. The fuzziness of the production and the sinister vibes have an underground cult metal feel as well. These elements smashed together ends up sounding like Public Acid, another hardcore band who finds a delicate balance between their chaotic and bruising sides. All four tracks are rippers, but I’m taken with “Ghoul,” which finds a Warthog-style groove heavy enough to take down a cinderblock wall.



No shows booked at the moment.

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