Exclusive Release: Clay Crown Get Introspective on Debut EP ‘Karma’
Check out the six-track release from the Mumbai prog metal band that’s heavy on existentialism and breakdowns
Like a majority of indie bands, Clay Crown have had their fair share of lineup changes—but their run of vocalists has been unusually high. “We’ve changed almost four to five vocalists before we finally settled on Kevin [Ramon, current vocalist],” says the prog metal band’s drummer Moin Farooqui. Since their formation in Mumbai in 2013, Clay Crown jammed with frontmen ranging from thrash metallers Carnage Inc.’s Varun Panchal to a cappella collective Aflatunes’ beat-machine Roy Navarun.
But before testing beatboxers and growlers to fill the frontman’s position, Clay Crown started off as an instrumental band, founded by Farooqui and his close friend and guitarist Nitin Koli. Almost four years, several compositions and a number of lineup changes later, the band now includes guitarist Swar Joshi, bassist Neilson Fernandes and Ramon on vocals; along with permanent members Farooqui and Koli.
After settling on a vocalist earlier this year, the band wasted no time in hitting the studio to record their debut EP Karma. It helped that Farooqui is a sound engineer and manages his own studio set-up Soundspace, where six tracks was recorded over a period of three or four months. “A lot of people we knew from attending our gigs told us we shouldn’t discard these songs but go ahead and record them. So we eventually came up with the tracks for Karma and decided to record the EP,” explains Farooqui.
And if the EP title wasn’t enough of a hint already, Clay Crown’s debut is heavy on existentialism and introspection, one that guitarist Joshi describes as “a person’s journey of finding the ‘meaning of I’ and his purpose here”. The title track and opener “Karma” puts forth metaphysical musings with lyrics like “What is the meaning of your life?”; By the second track, they’re already into one of their most aggressive on “Meaning of I”.
There’s chugging riffs on offer on “Glimpse From The Sky” as Ramon breaks the chaos with quiet vocals, while “Drowning Sun” packs in grooves galore and laments the irony of man’s destruction of nature in the pursuit of religious worship. Karma peaks in terms of aggression with the self-loathing on “Mirrors” [“Every fucking time I see/The reflection sets me free”], fueled by bass-heavy breakdowns and haunting guitar work, and closes on a relatively calmer [yet harsher] note with “Out of Reach”.
Although the band has no immediate plans to perform, they already have more material in the pipeline. Says Joshi, “The next release is going to be a full-length album, and we’re actually almost done with one song. We plan to perform newer material as well, the next time we go live.”
Listen to ‘Karma’ below.