21 December 2012
Clutch - Clutch
I have a confession about this band - for many a moon I did not get them. They just did not do anything for me, I found them confusing as it was still I really should be liking but they didn't click. I had compilations made for me by friends, lent albums spent hours listening to them and it was like trying to run through treacle - I was getting nowhere. Even my wife liked them more than me which made my mates chuckle and as for her hand in marriage if I ever pass on. Nice to see that they care. ;-) However, I always felt there was something more to come from these guys.
Hailing form Germantown, Maryland and basically touring for many a moon this was their second release in 1995 and at that time they were on the rise. This is still the band's biggest success in the US of A and is a good place for a newbie to start. Opening with "Big News I" & "Big News II" it put the stall out from the start. This is a band who are not compromising what they do, they love their big riffs, grooving and thought provoking lyrics. "Spacegrass" is quite possibly the finest track on this album, but then again it is all there for the choosing.
To some people there is not much in the way of changing on this album, but then they are missing what the point of this band is. The point of them is to be drifting and coming in and out of focus. It is almost early blues-esque and if these guys had have came out before Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath they would have possible been the blueprint for a lit of music. The fact that they are still underground is mostly to their benefit as when they were on a "major" label, the company did not get them correctly.
It is by no means a perfect record, but it is a great record. The guitar solo on "I Have The Body of John Wilkies Booth" is one of the finest I have heard, the vocals of Neil Fallon sound as if they were delivered from a monster, not a man. The team work of Tim Sult, Dan Maines & Jean-Paul Gaster just hinges on the right side of chaos. Even now the most OTT moments like "Tight Like That" seem almost funky.
When I said I knew there was something more to come from these guys, I was eventually proven right. But not by them changing or releasing an album that converted me. It was me that changed and accepted them. If you like your rock on the heavy blues side of stoner, this is a perfect record to be played at any time of the day. May the amplifier worship begin.
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
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You can listen to on Spotify here
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