Babylon Rules

Push play on Clockcleaner’s Babylon Rules at any social setting and the room comes screeching to a halt. The unapologetically evil drudge of “New in Town,” with its grumbling bass and reverb, is striking on a primal level. The slow-motion grind of the song bursts into a simmering art/noise/punk skulk that is unwavering to the end. The group channels a bevy of sheer hostility, negative emotions and downright deviant sentiments into a catchy blend of rockabilly damaged post-punk and post-goth songwriting. “Man Across the Street” is the blight upon the dream neighborhood where the Talking Heads reside in the song “Once in a Lifetime.” Vocalist/guitarist John Sharkey’s brutally monotonous rant, which demands “Where’s my house, where’s my wife ...” over a single, unwavering drum pound, brings domesticated man’s existential fears over suburban life to a horrifying and infectious point. 5 stars