Clock Out is a hardcore band from Worcester, Massachusetts that was formed in 2018 by vocalist Victor Nguyen and guitarist Kristi Xhelili. They made their debut that year via the Mind Tricks EP and have been busy ever since.
"Soon after we started playing local shows with people filling in for us and eventually picking up Adam Labbe (drums) and Ian Hikel (bass)," says frontman Victor. "In the last year we wrote songs for our No Control EP and it's been sick playing with them. We all share a love for heavy music, weed, and good times."
Yep, Clock Out recently dropped a 5-track EP called No Control that contains their best material yet. "I'd say we have a take on classic hardcore punk with some heavy parts. I feel the influences are a combination of a lot of the bands I was listening to when I first got into hardcore. Bands like Ceremony, Have Heart, Trapped Under Ice, Incendiary, Backtrack, Turnstile, and Cold World."
Guitarist Kristi also chimes in with some of Clock Out's influences: "We’ve definitely been influenced by hardcore punk bands like Backtrack, Trapped Under Ice, Rotting Out, but also by bands around us in Worcester and Massachusetts in general, like old CMHC bands such as No Way Out and Gator King, for anyone that knows.
"We’re influenced by old-school punk, too, and classic hardcore, but trying our own thing with it while sticking to the raw roots of the music. I personally just love riffs and riffs only. There is no melodic stuff in our music, but more so riffs that are groovy at times and memorable almost like a melody (just played as power chords and chugs)."
Victor tells me about the Clock Out project: "Our friend Jacob Tubman of Stackhouse Studios recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP. The lyrics were inspired by thoughts on the illusion of control. Things like governments, groups, upbringings, mentalities and our lives are predestined in ways we don't see. In spite of it, though, I think the songs shine light in the power of struggle and trying to make sense of it for ourselves.
"Nobody has it all figured out so it's a reminder for myself to be grounded and to be strong in spirit dealing with everything."
It wouldn't be a No Echo story without getting the lowdown on Clock Out's thoughts on their hardcore community in and around Worcester. "The local scene has actually been a lot of fun the past couple years since COVID restrictions were lifted," Kristi says.
"There’s a lot of variety and inspired people around, creating a good community from the ground up and working together in different ways. We call it 'CMHC' here in the general region (Central Massachusetts Hardcore) with great bands from the area:
- Wisdom & War
- Hard Target
- Bed of Razors
- Life’s End
- No Allegiance
- Sophisticated Adult (from New Hampshire)
- Shortest Life
- EDICT (from Rhode Island)
- Alley Trash (from Rhode Island)"
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