Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Album Review - CLUTCH

Clutch – Earth Rocker
Weathermaker, 2013

You never quite know what to expect from this zany bunch, and Earth Rocker continues the Clutch tradition of heavy grooves, quirky lyrics, and undeniable appeal. By nature this leads to some uneasy moments, but on the whole the band’s tenth album will please long-time fans. Clutch is at their best when they throw aside their more bizarre leanings and simply rock on songs like “Crucial Velocity” and the title track. There’s plenty here to keep things interesting, from the drum-driven “Mr. Freedom”, the 70s-era Aerosmith guitar sound of “Unto The Breach”, and the harmonica and explosive chorus of “D.C. Sound Attack!”. I’ve never liked singer Neil Fallon’s deep, bellowing voice he frequently employs instead his bark-like screams, so tunes like “The Face” and the bluesy “Gone Cole” fall flat for my tastes. Clutch is often lumped into the stoner rock category, but their albums are much more sonically diverse. Earth Rocker is no exception and there’s plenty here to like. The unpredictable vocal stylings of Neil, however, are an acquired taste and sometimes go too far. You gotta love, though, Clutch’s uncanny knack for delivering what you’d expect but somehow being capable able to throw in some interesting surprises. Clutch fans should consider Earth Rocker mandatory listening.

Clutch performs tonight, Wednesday, April 10 at First Avenue in Minneapolis with support from Orange Goblin, Lionize, and Scorpion Child.

RELATED CONTENT: Check out the Clutch's From The Vault feature that has lots of pictures and promotional items from 1993-1998.

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