The new release from Clay Lake punches through heavy topics of mental health with urgent vocals, flushing melodies, and a cohesive effort to get weights off shoulders. The Manly Toughness Trophy starts off with the serene “Sunday 10th August, 2008” then spirals into more winding progressions, visceral approaches, and speedy syncopations. From the bashing refrain of “Eyesore” to the frantic pace of “Good. Thanks.,” this EP bounds lush instrumentals with a vocal spew of emotion beaming through. Take a listen below, and be prepared for the full release on April 19th.

“The main theme behind ‘The Manly Toughness Trophy’ is mental health, a very common issue in the modern day especially regarding middle aged men. People expect men to be tough but really it doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can suffer. So there’s a lot of stuff in there about anxiety, overthinking things, time, people changing around you, self-doubt, and missing what you once had, all whilst touching on traditional aspects of life.

‘The Manly Toughness Trophy’ was written at Riff Factory and recorded by Sam Bloor of Lower Lane Studios in our hometown of Stoke.

The EP is a culmination of songs that we have worked on over the years – some since we first started in 2016. Other tracks, like ‘Relapse’, were more recent to the recording – that’s when we realised there was a concept to the record.” – Alex Bettany.


The tongue-in-cheek titled debut EP from the British trio is anything but a joke; including a poetry track among the ranks of the intricately produced tracks, The Manly Toughness Trophy holds a sincerity most new bands might be too afraid to bare.

Clay Lake are a trio from Stoke, England. They consist of Tom Flemming (Drums/Vocals), Elliot Sheerin (Bass/Vocals) and Alex Bettany (Guitar/Vocals).

The band originated from the ashes of previous midlands bands in January 2016 and released their first single ‘Stitches’, before supporting touring bands such as Funeral For A Friend, WSTR, Vicky Speedboat, Drug Church, Daisyhead, and more.

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