Crazy Clown Time – Album Review

Crazy Clown Time

After delivering some of the most unique and bizarre films of the past 20+ years, director David Lynch then decided to partake in some musical projects for a while. In 2011, he released his debut album Crazy Clown Time and he would follow it up two years later with The Big Dream.

Was this career jump a wise, worthy choice or more of a Kevin Costner singing country songs type of deal?

After all, while David Lynch’s voice is always a delight (see Twin Peaks for some rather loud examples), it doesn’t exactly strike as the obvious singing voice so let’s see how that turned out.

The opening song, “Pinky’s Dream”, buries the lead by not revealing singing Lynch and instead having Karen O from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs sing the tune. And what a tune it is! About as Lynchian as it gets, this is a fast-paced, dark, moody, driving song with some crafty reverbs and sound effects, bringing up images of a frantic, surreal highway chase. It’s, quite simply, a brilliant track and the perfect way to start the album.

Surprisingly, “Good Day Today”, goes for something completely different: a club-friendly remix of what sounds like some Angelo Badalamenti leftover sounds from his classic Twin Peaks score with an auto-tuned Lynch singing over a bouncy beat which includes the odd gunshot. There’s an upbeat but also desperate feel to this one and it is about as wacky as the above description suggests.

“So Glad” is a slower, somewhat more mean-spirited track which somehow works really well, Lynch’s voice blending in perfectly with the regular drum beat and the occasional guitar twangs. It’s one of those many songs on the album you find yourself quickly hypnotized by, wanting to know how it builds and what it builds up to. “Noah’s Ark” is next and sees David Lynch whispering about a “dark night” over sounds of a record skipping and repeating, plus the usual moody backing. Again, it shouldn’t work and yet it’s strangely compelling.

The next track, “Football Game”, is more playful as Lynch amusingly mumbles about going to a football game with a southern twang and what has to be a bag of hazelnuts in his mouth as an old-fashioned reverbed guitar rocks out throughout. “I Know” is in the same vein as “So Glad” and is just as atmospheric if maybe a little too similar in tone and feel. As for “Strange And Unproductive Thinking”, it can only be described as Lynch’s musical homage to Transcendental Meditation as the man talks, or rather echoes, about the subconscious and superconscious over a quietly booming beat.

“The Night Bell With Lightning” is a bluesier track the likes of Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t spit at, I’m sure. Lynch’s band showing off how well they’ve captured the director’s style in a slow yet cool instrumental tune. It is followed by one of this album’s highlights: “Stone’s Gone Up”. Like “Pinky’s Dream”, this is a ridiculously moody, fun track but, this time, David Lynch is on singing duties and he does a great job, nailing a not-super-easy to sing chorus and the more talky verses.

And now we come to “Crazy Clown Time”, the title track. Armed with one nutty video to say the least, it’s quite probably the wackiest song on the album but it’s also one of the best and most memorable. Lynch describes an out-of-control party in a kid’s voice, with all the naivety of a child, and the result is hilarious, hypnotic and… just so good. The music itself is, of course, also terrific.

Crazy clown time indeed!

Easily the best 7 minutes you’ll spend with your shirt off.

“These Are My Friends” is a more chilled-out track, a ballad almost, in which Lynch describes a bunch of stuff he has including a truck and “two good ears” before describing what his friends have: bluebirds, dogs and yellow baskets, mostly. It’s a good song with a silly sense of humour and, a lot like “Crazy Clown Time”, it’s pretty irresistible. “Speed Roadster” is the 12th song and Lynch tries to speak to someone on the phone in this one. Sounds a bit like he improvised the track as he went, which isn’t so far-fetched when you know the man’s mostly out-there work. The swearing throughout is entertaining but the song doesn’t stand-out as much as the others, unfortunately.

The next track, “Movin’ On”, has a similar beat as its predecessor but Lynch’s voice is higher pitched. Ultimately it has some nice melodic moments here and there but it’s another not-too memorable effort. The final song “She Rise Up”, is reminiscent of “Good Day Today” in that similar effects affect Lynch’s voice but this is a much darker tune which builds up slowly. It’s not bad and is actually quite pretty at times but a faster song would have really hit the spot at that point.

So what to make of the film director’s debut album?

Against all odds, it’s a winner! Lynch and his band capture the mood and humour of his films brilliantly and you can definitely picture scenes from Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire and others as you listen. There are a handful of clear hits here everyone should have a good time with but really, this is one for fans who will likely love every minute of this strange, inspired little adventure.

“Crazy Clown Time” gets 4 Shady Dudes out of 5 from us.

I liked it so much I SPIT!

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IOU – Song Of The Day


Thinking about what would be the quintessential Metric song, a few came to mind but the strongest contender would probably be the opening track from the band’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? album “IOU”. The song is like a mini best of with the band showing off a bit of rock, a bit of punk, a bit of electro, a lot of versatility over the space of a single song and it all somehow works pretty seamlessly. It’s a fast-paced, fun tune but it’s also not without it’s softer, more chilled-out moments.

Chinese Democracy – Album Review


15 years after their 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?”, which was comprised solely of cover songs, the Guns N’ Roses minus everyone except Axl Rose finally put together a new album. Many years in the making, Chinese Democracy was highly anticipated to say the least, even without Slash, Duff McKagan and the gang involved.

Some loved it, others hated it.

But was this big comeback really worth it?

A boldly simple riff leads the way in a kickass opening title track which most definitely sounds like the Guns N’ Roses. You’ve got some great guitar work in there, a top chorus, it’s short and sweet: the album couldn’t have started any better.

Axl goes low for second track “Shackler’s Revenge”, before slowly building to his usual highs. Expect a chaotic guitar hook mixed in with quite a lot of electronic sounds and a solo which is all over the place. The bridge is a bit weak and doesn’t quite fit but luckily the chorus works. It’s a very metal, very experimental track you’ll either have fun with or dismiss altogether as just too messy.

“Better” is a rather modern track for the band as it doesn’t exactly have that nostalgic retro feel to it. Which is not to say it’s not good, it’s got a very unique melody to it which builds really well with some heavier bits thrown in plus a respectable Slash-esque solo. Axl’s voice sounds weirdly different in this one I should point out but it remains a cool song.

A piano solo opens “Street Of Dreams” which goes for a “November Rain”-style ballad. Going back to Axl Rose’s voice, it sounds great when high but a little odd when low here. The song itself is appropriately grand and ambitious and boasts a strong melody despite not being quite as memorable as it probably wanted to be.

“If The World” is next and that one has more of a hip hop beat with something of a Middle Eastern vibe in places. Its pace speeds up and slows down in random places so, while it’s another good song, it’s also another experimental song which might sound a little off here and there. The next track, “There Was A Time”, has a a really strong melody but the chorus ruins it a bit by being so off-key somehow. It settles more later with an atmospheric solo and a solid build-up to the end but early on it’s frankly a bit too distracting.

“Catcher In The Rye” definitely has its moments, especially its solo and the main hook which help structure the song well throughout. You never know where this one’s going but it holds up really well even if it’s not the most memorable track on the album. It’s the nifty little touches here and there which make this one as likeable as it is. “Scraped” is a faster-paced track and, again, there’s a good hook and a cool solo in there. Unfortunately the key changes don’t really fit the vocals which makes it sound like two people are singing two different songs at the same time.

Another track with some weird key changes is “Riad N’ The Bedouins”, a song which, otherwise, is musically sound and which definitely has a lot going for it. “Sorry” is next and it’s a slower track with more of an R&B vibe. It’s a great ballad that works perfectly overall: chorus, bridge, it’s all steeped in attitude and regret. Easily one of Chinese Democracy’s best even if it rarely sounds like the Guns N’ Roses.

The next song, “I.R.S.”, is a fun track with a good melody and lots of energy. Could have definitely heard a song like it on Appetite For Destruction back in the day. It is followed by “Madagascar”, a more political track with more of an emphasis on mood and lyrics. Think of it a bit like a callback to classic GNR song “Civil War”. The track opens with a mini-orchestra (in synth form) giving it an appropriately grand, almost epic quality. Axl sounds like an old soul/blues singer here, in a good way!

There’s a beautiful piano-led melody throughout heartfelt ballad “This I Love” and an admittedly very pretty bridge also. The track grows and grows towards the best, longest guitar solo on the entire album. One of this new Guns N’ Roses’ best and most underrated songs. The album ends on “Prostitute”, a song about… exactly what it says it’s about! The pace is much too up and down in this bizarre ode which is surprisingly pretty but also unfortunately never allowed to fully take-off.

What to make of Chinese Democracy, then?

The fact that Axl Rose finally delivered this album which was such a long time coming and never felt like it would ever exist is in itself something of a miracle. While it’s certainly uneven, with some of its songs jumping from key to key or rhythm to rhythm sometimes with very little rhyme or reason and Axl’s voice sounding nearly completely different depending on where he is in the album or in a song, fans of what used to be the world’s biggest band should still find plenty to enjoy here.

The lack of some key band members means that this isn’t really the Guns N’ Roses, of course, but what we can learn from some of this album’s best moments is that the Roses without the Guns are still worth something.

That’s 3 Drunk Hatters out of 5 for Chinese Democracy. I’ll happily add an extra Hatter but only when Axl releases a brand new album which should be…

Any decade now.


Jaan Pehechan Ho – Song Of The Day

Jaan Pehechan Ho

Many will know this tune from the opening scene of the film Ghost World but Jaan Pehechan Ho” is more widely known as the hit song from the 1965 Bollywood thriller Gumnaam starring Nanda, Manoj Kumar and Pran. To say that the scene in which the song is depicted is pure 60’s bliss would be an understatement. With its genius choreography, its catchy chorus and its mostly masked (a la Green Hornet) cast, this is just a bloody good, very fun song delivered with tons and tons of energy.

The song is sung by Mohammed Rafi and the main dancer in the scene is Laxmi Chhaya.

Secrets – Song Of The Day


Our Song Of The Day for today is “Secrets” by The Cure. The track can be found on the band’s second album Seventeen Seconds, which was released back in 1980, and it’s a dark, fast-paced tune with a relatively restrained Robert Smith and a simple beat hammering in throughout. This is the band at their best delivering some quality early gothic rock without overdoing it.

Stray Cat Strut – Song Of The Day

Stray Cats

From the Stray Cats‘ self-titled 1981 debut album comes “Stray Cat Strut”, one of the rockabilly band’s earliest hits. This is one cool, old-fashioned, bluesy track which is just as good and as catchy today as it ever was. You usually can’t go wrong with Stray Cats but this is definitely one of those classic, instantly addictive tracks even non-rockabillies should have a ball with.


Nantes – Song Of The Day


Beirut‘s 2007 album The Flying Club Cup was pretty perfect and the second track on the album, “Nantes”, was not only one of the best on it but remains one of Beirut’s most recognisable tracks. The usual Balkan folk-influenced vibe is there along with a whole bunch of accordions, trumpets and other relatively exotic instruments. The music video, which sees maestro Zach Condon walk down a flight of stairs behind the rest of the band is also particularly inspired.