Don’t let the colourful artwork fool you as you press play on Clockwork Monster, the latest EP from Colchester’s Hobo Chang. As the opening guitar ticks away, a dark, brooding, feeling creeps over the title track – the instrumentation is quite minimal when you break it down but what it does with it is impressive, setting a scene flawlessly. Fiona Harmon has a reputation for being one of the best vocalists in the local area and this EP certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard, with a powerful, soulful, delivery fitting perfectly with the music.
Nightcrawler is interesting in it’s composition, the fuzzy lead lines meet with ringing chords and minor scales in the sinister final act. As the EP progresses you can tell there has been a slight change in musicians performing the later part; the bass in Borrowed Time a bit more prominent, driving the song forward in a slightly more pronounced way. Lyrically I feel this track is a strong point – it’s quite easy to get lost in the vocals at times, purely because of the musical nature of them and the roomy feeling they give off, but it pays to pay attention.
Rounding off the EP is final track Where Is Your God Now, with it’s swirling guitar part and many layers. The end part is a real highlight musically; it’s certainly surreal. Overall Clockwork Monster is an enjoyable listen. There’s plenty going on to make it interesting and there were quite a few places during the 17 or so minutes of music that I couldn’t see coming. I’ve previously commented on the bands DIY production and I don’t want to harp on about it but Hobo Chang get better at it with each record they work on. Well worth your time.