Monday, March 28, 2022

When punk gets philosophical—The Clockworks’ new release ‘Endgame’ is as exhilarating as it is existential

If there’s one thing Galway four-piece The Clockworks are not, it’s unsure of themselves! The group have only released eight tracks to date and are already pitching themselves to Creation Records boss, Alan McGee, as punk’s answer to The Streets

McGee, who was immediately interested in signing the “cocky little f***ers” is best known for promoting the likes of Oasis and Primal Scream in the ’90s (John Earls, NME). As fellow-Irish bands like Fontaines D.C and The Murder Capital have successfully brought their angsty brand of post-punk to the masses in recent years, it’s clear why The Clockworks back themselves to do the same, if not more.

Their newest offering ‘Endgame’ slightly departs from the mundane social commentaries of previous releases like ‘Bills and Pills’ or ‘Can I Speak to a Manager without sacrificing the rousing pop-rock energy that allows these tracks to speak outwardly. Recently featured on Lammo’s Radio 6 evening show, the tune is a piercing narrative of an individual fearful of “losing touch” as the endless wheels of time inevitably churn on! Loosely based on an absurdist play of the same name by Samuel Beckett, ‘Endgame’ is a story of estrangement and despair following the introspective musings of a tragic character playing snooker at the pub. While the content remains ordinary and relatable, The Clockworks offer something more mature and developed than what frontman and lyricist James McGregor calls, “music with nothing to say.” This is a tune that is both incisive and critically self-aware.


None of this, however, takes away from the reality that ‘Endgame’ has all the basic elements of a brilliant live anthem. It very quickly builds from a relatively simple guitar hook and drumbeat to an outpouring of vocal emotion akin to a Killers track. The real merit here is the ability to pack a profound narrative into two and a half minutes of full throttle, highly captivating post-punk tuneage! While the “anti-something” ethos so essential to the genre is still firmly intact, the group take this further with a track that questions the very meaning of life.


As McGee’s latest protégés embark on their 2022 tour and with their eponymously titled debut EP just around the corner (released 1st April), they are definitely ones to keep an eye on!

Oliver Hockings

LinkedIn: Oliver_Hockings

Image: Oscar J Ryan


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