Myclownshoes is an emerging alternative rock band based in Louisville, Kentucky. Created by Blue Happel, a nonbinary and autistic artist from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, myclownshoes was born out of a passion for crafting authentic and poetic songs. Blue, who discovered music at the age of 12, released their first single “BLUE” on SoundCloud in 2015 and has been making music ever since. The band, which includes guitarist Max Hayes and manager Jasper Bulanek, is dedicated to telling compelling stories through their music, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity. Despite their nearly five-year hiatus, myclownshoes has maintained a strong listener base on Spotify, reflecting the lasting impact of their debut album “Lips Do What Hands Do” released in September 2019. The band’s distinct identity as a queer-established and operated band highlights their dedication to building a safer and more diverse music environment.

Credit: Photographed by Malcolm Taylor
Credit: Photographed by Malcolm Taylor

Released on May 3rd, 2024, “Temptation Is A Weapon” signifies a successful comeback for myclownshoes. This single provided a preview of their second album “Tantrumo,” which was released on June 9, 2024. The song is a major departure from their previous sound, moving away from bedroom R&B to a more intense and raw alternative rock style. The band’s growth as artists is evidenced by the evolution in their music, demonstrating their versatility and maturity. The song is infused with a strong feeling of individual and emotional discovery, pulling in listeners to the intricate and sometimes distressing realm of forbidden desire and the burden of societal and religious standards.

The song starts with a captivating guitar intro that immediately captures the listener’s interest. This infectious guitar intro, created by musician Max Hayes, establishes a strong mood for the entire song. The beat that joins the guitar is just as captivating, bringing a feeling of pressure and energy that pushes the music ahead. The instrumentation in this song is carefully arranged and captivating, forming a complex sound that complements the lyrics’ storytelling. The music accentuates each separate component while also making sure they come together smoothly as a unified entity.

Blue Happel’s singing stands out in “Temptation Is A Weapon.” Their vocal delivery exhibits a raw and emotive strength that effectively communicates the song’s messages of longing, remorse, and inner turmoil. Blue’s singing captures the listener’s attention right from the beginning, allowing them to truly understand the emotions behind the song. The poetic lyrics paint vivid pictures of temptation and the battle between good and evil. Lines like “The garden breathes divining light, I’ll bite the apple out of spite; Slick under cover of the night, I can’t have you, it isn’t right”, captures the core of forbidden desire and the strong feelings it ignites. The vocal performance is passionate yet nuanced, capturing the multifaceted emotions at play.

Thematically, “Temptation Is A Weapon” by myclownshoes delves deeply into the human psyche, examining the conflict between desire and morality. Blue Happel views this song as more than just a tale of forbidden attraction—it also represents their personal journey with sexuality and the influence of their religious upbringing. The song delves into Catholic guilt, bringing a new dimension of depth and universality to the storyline, making it resonate with those who have faced inner conflicts and societal pressures. The inclusion of religious symbols like the serpent and the forbidden fruit in the song’s lyrics, reinforces this idea, prompting the listener to reflect on the deeper meanings of temptation and guilt in their personal experiences.

Max Hayes’ guitar playing is also a standout feature on the song. Throughout the song, his guitar skills are clearly displayed, contributing a dynamic and captivating aspect to the band’s developing sound. The guitar riffs not only impress from a technical standpoint but also connect emotionally, enriching the song’s story. The solo parts, specifically, highlight Max’s talent for expressing feelings with his instrument, producing instances of exceptional musical skill that enhance the song. His instrumental performance perfectly complements Blue’s singing, contributing to the overall impact of the song through a harmonious interplay.

Credit: Photographed by Malcolm Taylor
Credit: Photographed by Malcolm Taylor

At 1:30 minutes into the song, there is a noticeable change. The music decreases in volume, leaving behind only a beat and the captivating voice of Blue Happel. This period of self-reflection enables the audience to completely grasp the significance of the lyrics and the feelings being expressed. It presents a clear difference from the rest of the song, emphasizing the inner struggle and fragility of the protagonist. This part of the song serves as a strong prompt for the listener to stop and think about their own encounters with temptation and guilt, emphasizing the human element. The full instrumentation returns at 1:52 minute, adding renewed intensity and propelling the track towards its climactic ending.

The production quality and arrangement of “Temptation Is A Weapon” are excellent, resulting in an immersive and engaging sonic experience. The powerful guitar riffs, infectious beat, and Blue’s emotive vocals are carefully balanced to maximize the overall impact of the song. The quality of production enables the listener to admire the details of the arrangement, from the delicate touches in the instrumentation to the authentic emotion in the vocal performance. Their skill is what makes myclownshoes unique, demonstrating their commitment to their art and their talent for producing music that is both skillful and moving.

Overall, The song ‘Temptation Is A Weapon‘ is a strong and captivating piece that represents a significant moment in myclownshoes’ musical evolution. It not just emphasizes the band’s advancement and change but also confirms their skill in producing music that is significant and influential. The song’s deep themes, along with its catchy music and emotional singing, make it a standout that deeply connects with listeners. “Temptation Is A Weapon” is essential for listeners, and also establishes a positive mood for the remainder of the “Tantrum” album, sparking excitement for further exploration of this creative and skilled band.

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