The Frowning Clouds

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Frowning Clouds – ‘Time Wastin’ Woman’ (mp3)

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Melissa Tan reviews the Frowning Clouds after their performance in St.Kilda’s Esplanade Hotel.

Enigmatic Geelong boys The Frowning Clouds have taught me a few lessons, aside from how to wear a patterned poncho at the Espy and still dodge a bottling. After braving a case of good old Melbourne hypothermia getting to the venue, we don’t expect much more from the Espy than $6 pizzas, a Julia Zemiro sighting and cover bands dressed in unlawful amounts of spandex. When the Frowning Clouds hit the stage, sporting profound bowl cuts and identical black turtlenecks, we (and the punters at the back of the bar who came for the Van Halen tribute band) are well aware that these guys are defiantly traipsing past the margins of customary Espy territory.

But as soon as the lead opens his mouth, we are all jolted by the beguiling Yardbirds/Kinks-esque sounds of the five piece. Hailing from Geelong and fresh out of high school, The Frowning Clouds have established themselves as promising contenders of the local music scene in the past year or so, playing everything from a Royal Derby residency to a stint at Golden Plains Festival back in March. Lead vocalist Nick (a dead ringer for George Harrison) and his poncho wielding counterpart Zack rotate between vocals and rhythm guitar. The coarse vocals of Zack lend backbone to Time Wastin’ Woman, oozing with the sounds of the Stones’ early catalogue. Nicks somewhat more malleable voice adds charisma to the melody of Tiger Heart and the popular Lovin’ You

Snake Charmer is definitely a standout, shimmering with maracas action and pounding jungle rhythms courtesy of drummer Ben, paralleling the’s and Brian Jones having an double orgy at the back of the venue. Comparisons aside, the Frowning Cloud’s are more than just a bunch of guys obsessed with their folks’ 60’s vinyl library. Bonus points on seeing a young band not relying on a synth cameo to draw a crowd. Collectively, the Frowning Clouds pull together as competent musos as they churn out a tight set more infectious than the plague.

Closing with blues saturated Bloodhound, the front of the stage is packed out in a mayhem of twisting and grooving bodies. With a considerable list of gigs already pinned under their turtlenecks and a set at the Blueprint Festival on the 19th of September lined up, it’s stellar weather ahead for the Clouds.

Lovin’ You 7″ (Monterrey Records) is out now..


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