You can read the full writeup
on my head-banging night in Vegas with Drawing Boxes
and Clockwise here
... and, if you ever find yourself in a sushi bar
with Austin (Clockwise frontman) be sure to order
him up a big batch of sweet Ebi shrimp -- complete
with fried shrimp heads!
He just can't get enough o dem shrimp eyes!!
Seriously, even though their deal with RCA is no more
the boys in Clockwise are still out there fightin'
and playin' their hearts out. But, you'll have to
keep your eyes peeled and move fast if you want to
catch 'em live ... Clockwise ain't about to be overexposed
like a lot of indie bands on the scene ... so that
means when you hear about a show - YOU GO!
And, don't kid yourself ... this ain't no college-dorm-wanna-be-punk-rockers-to-piss-off-my-dad
poser band! Clockwise satisfies with their genuine
blend of funky pop-a-delic rock that could have only
erupted from the bright lights of Vegas. Bring an
extra pair of tightey whitey's (pun intended)
when you come to a show ... cause Austin and the boys
will blast your shorts off!
Until then, enjoy this writeup posted on wazee in
Listening to Clockwise's self-titled RCA debut, the
adage that a person's voice acts as a second face
comes to mind. It doesn't seem possible that such
a deep, soulful bellow could emanate from a whippet-thin
rock frontman with a chameleon's taste in hairstyles.
But seeing is believing. Almost.
"When we play a new city, people
just stare at him in awe," says bassist Alfonso
Bernal. "They can't believe this big voice is
coming out of this skinny young guy."
As a whole, Clockwise also shatters
expectations. The band's members are Las Vegas natives,
for one, and Sin City's small music scene doesn't
normally win national attention. Still, growing up
in the town's warren of planned communities--just
west of the glitz, gambling and girls, girls, girls--shaped
the band in at least two significant ways that helped
them move beyond Vegas.
First, the plastic culture brought
out the opposite in the childhood friends--a substance
evident in Austin's of-the-moment lyrics and his bandmates'
timeless guitar-bass-drums dynamic. "We went
for a muscular, melodic sound, with solid grooves
throughout," says drummer Dave McMahan of the
And secondly, Glitter Gulch's countless
over-the-top attractions forced Clockwise to crank
up the voltage just to compete. "In Vegas, if
you don't play at volume 10, and if you're not just
raging, people don't pay attention," says Austin.
"There's just way too much else to do in town.
So if you're not larger-than-life, louder-than-hell
and power-packed, you're not going to draw a crowd."
With that approach, and a growing
catalog of hook-filled numbers, Clockwise wound up
"snagging anyone who would step into a shitty
Vegas bar to watch a band," according to the
singer. But like many of rock's classic line-ups,
the group initially comprised "the rejects that
no other bands wanted," Alfonso admits with a
laugh. "But we always took the band very seriously."
The former rejects began packing
local clubs, eventually attracting label interest,
as well. When the froth finally settled in the wake
of a signing frenzy, the band had aligned with RCA,
whose Steve Ferrara recognized a solid, inventive
band, and rare charismatic frontman in Austin. Working
intensely with producer-on-the-rise Dan Brodbeck (Headstrong),
the band set out to create an album that commands
your attention from first track to last.
"Each song depicts a point
in time for us," says Alfonso, who recalls a
time when Austin was wanted for reasons other than
his music. "Austin was a skinny kid with a big
mouth, and it always got him into trouble," he
says. "He always had masses of people who wanted
to get him. In high school, he even had the skinheads
after him--and these were guys who would flip over
your car in the parking lot, or throw a brick at your
Such experiences translate in the
aggression of songs like "Lay Her Down"
and "Southern Drawl," but they're always
contrasted by a reflective side, evident in the songs'
choruses, particularly on “Who Deserted Who?”
"Most of the album is me bitching,"
admits Austin. "It's pretty critical, just because
the negative somehow makes for better conversation--and
it seems more real. But most of the songs actually
resolve on a positive note."