Genre: Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Psycho – B Records
Year: 2016 (1991, 1994)

Las Vegas. Tonight, Sin City is ready anew to nest in her arms all those salacious souls, its thirsty for gambling, sex and a-buttload-of-everything-that-feels-good children. And here am I, spellbound, eyes wide open, looking at a poster of Australia’s Thunder Down Under and smiling, always excited about the things…down under. I had surely decided on the spot they would be included in our night out, but our chauffeur had other plans for us… A CIRCUS? WHAT THE FUCK? WE CAME TO VEGAS TO GO TO A FUCKING CIRCUS? “FUCK, YEAH! THIS IS IT! WE’RE HERE!” (this is Tooleight Johnny whooping). Having made sure he had opened and closed the car window eight times and hit the car hood eight more, he went on to explain: “I HAD A DREAM ABOUT THIS PLACE… THERE WAS A CLOWN… AND HE SPECIFICALLY SAID: ACES AND EIGHTS…”. Unable to deny Tooleight Johnny this life-turning streak of luck, I stoically endured the torture. Already absorbed with his lady friends and the roulette game, I’m not really sure Johnny knew I was gone. Making my way through a sea of jugglers and acrobats, yelling, sugar-intoxicated kids, past cheesy circus decorations, amusement park rides and slot machines with flashing lights and sounds that could easily induce an epileptic seizure,  I tried to get to our room totally creeped out by the eerie circus music that surrounded me.

When I finally got to the room, which turned out to be in a mostly abandoned part of the building, the only thing going through my brain was “What a dump! Imma drink a 5-litre strawberry margarita and get hammered…”.  I was so pissed-off and that porcelain carousel I had spotted in front of the mirror suddenly going off didn’t do much to lighten my mood. “Of course, there had to be a carousel”, I muttered to myself as I walked up to the mirror to turn the damn thing off. Feeling a breath down my neck, I looked up and into the mirror to see what looked like a jolly clown fiddling with a bloody hammer in his hands, staring right back at me. I never stopped to think twice; rushing out of the room, down the mazy corridors, into the elevator and the underground garage, I hijacked a limo and got lost in the streets of Nevada. Shaking still, trying to stop my heart —and the car— from galloping, I turned on the radio…

“… tonight’s show features an A M A Z I N G band from California: KILLER CLOWN! The band name and logo or even the album artwork might create false impressions regarding the musical whereabouts of the band, but, at the end of the day, they prove that, if a band can give us metal —hard rock at times— that is pure awesomeness, no marketing clichés are necessary to get their message through to the right audience. For the record, let’s just say that the band started off as Tyrant…

In 1991, Killer Clown made “Show Us To The Circus”, a demo of 5 mind-blowing tracks and went on with “All Bets Down” in 1994, another demo of 3 more mind-blowing tracks. Okay, okay, one or two of the tracks might not blow your mind, but that’s only because of the insurmountable awesomeness they are capable of. None of that would have been discovered if it weren’t for Psycho-B Records releasing a vinyl collection featuring all the above: a gem in the US underground music scene, making its rightful way into our metal hearts…

Words are simply not enough to describe those powerful, relentless riffs that get ahold of your brain but you don’t really care, the enchanting lead parts and James Johnson’s spectacular vocals. The lyrics, emotionally sung, span a wide range of themes and emotions, just like in “Gothic City”, the desperate cry of a homeless man for help: in the land of plenty, the homeless matter less than the Lamborghinis they share the streets with. Social injustice is more than painfully obvious and “Gothic City” could represent any of the glamorous American cities where the harsh reality spoiling their image is hidden under the shiny surface. Sometimes it seems they are trying to make hopeless gamblers get a grip (“Aces and Eights”) or reminiscing women who left their mark. Our personal favorites include Gothic City, Lawgiver, Monastary and Hurtin’ Cuz You’re Gone (Girl, we don’t know you, but we are eternally grateful to you for dumping him… after all, with a song like that, there must have been an army of girls trying to console him). Dear all, turn up the volume and enjoy the one and only Killer Clown…”

Suddenly, the engine dies. I’m outta gas. Damn! I’m in Route 395, a few miles outside Ridgecrest, California. I hear tapping on the tinted partition window and, panicked, I assume I stole the car along with the owner. I open the window ready to offer my most sincere apologies. A jolly clown with a 5-litre strawberry margarita in one hand and a bloody hammer in the other is staring at me. Well, it looks like things are eventually going my way: I’m finally gonna drink my 5-litre strawberry margarita and get hammered…

5/6