"The Dead City Heist"
With an accompanying comic book to telegraph the music's powerful punch and reach, Rochester threesome Clockmen is back with "The Dead City Heist," its much anticipated follow-up to the band's 2010 release "No, You're Fired." Well, Eureka! Here's some more smart and heavy indie-punk from the boys that harkens back to Gang of Four, Husker Du, and other instigators of visionary rock, politics, and art.
With the album's sonic-city scene serving as a backdrop, the band plugs away hard but not too heavy, dark but not hopeless. "The Dead City Heist" reminds me when punks/garage rockers The Makers came out with "Rock Star God" in 2000. In this case, Clockmen work in the album's doom–laden, violent subtext without a shred of deprecation or self-doubt. This is readily apparent if your listening routine has you following along with the included "Dead City" crudely drawn comic book. The music, by contrast, is a well-oiled, guitar-driven machine, a seething, driving, relentless slab of rock 'n' roll for the thinking man.