Calling Clutch’s latest album, Earth Rocker, the best album of their career and hands down the best rawk record of 2013 would at first seem to be a disservice to their peers in the genre who have yet to release albums this year. Then again when it comes to Clutch, genres are a moot point as the sounds this band creates is unparallelled. Take the first track “Earth Rocker” for what it is: a tease. Yeah, it’s great. It’s grandiose. It rocks. But it’s nothing compared to the rest of Earth Rocker. What comes after is the thunderous second track “Crucial Velocity” or the even more potent “Cyborg Bette” later on and fans will hear a band that has taken all they’ve learned from their previous releases and made the ultimate Clutch album.
Earth Rocker is, quite simply, the sound of a band at its greatest. No skippers here. No fillers at all. No siree! The lone place that ER slows down is on “Gone Cold” smack dab in the middle and that’s only so that listeners can catch their breath. Where the first half builds up the hype and features such instant already mentioned classics along with the blues infused “D.C. Sound Attack” which sees Fallon’s harmonica playing at the forefront, it’s the second half that really seals the deal.
From the minute that “The Face” blasts you with Tim Sult’s massive riff, everything fans thought they knew about Clutch is instantly gone. From there, songs like the rumbling “Book, Saddle, & Go” with Jean Paul Gaster and Dan Maines’ rumbling drum and bass maelstrom shows another side of the band while “Oh, Isabella” is a decidedly more lush affair with Fallon delivering one of his most anthemic choruses to date. And do not get me started on closer “The Wolfman Kindly Requests…”. It’s easily my favorite on the new record and one of the greatest jams the band has written and laid down. It’s got a groove that only Clutch could play and a vocal swoon that only Neil Fallon could deliver. If there was ever an example of Clutch firing on all cylinders it would undoubtedly be this song and especially this album.
Earth Rocker is out through Weathermaker Music on March 19th. Pre-order your copy here.
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