Release Date: Mar 19, 2013
Record label: Weathermaker Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Review Summary: Clutch burst with renewed vitality on their tenth album.In the title track of Earth Rocker Neil Fallon proudly proclaims: “I will suffer no evil. My guitar will guide me through.” This statement makes for an ideal motto for Maryland-based Clutch, who show no signs of stopping. After their two previous records, it seemed that the foursome would pursue their chosen path of vintage blues rock.
“Break it down to brass tacks. Break it down to just the facts.” - Clutch, “Earth Rocker” That quote, drawn from the first and title track from Clutch’s 10th album Earth Rocker, perfectly encapsulates both the album’s content and the band’s approach to it. Simply put, the release is a rip-roaring riot of instinctual, swaggering rock, and as far as that particular aesthetic goes, it’s the album to beat in 2013.
Some records hit you at exactly when you need them to. For this writer, Clutch's 2004 stoner-rock masterpiece Blast Tyrant was one of those records. It caught me in my awkward teen years, right as my tastes were transitioning from the Iron Maiden and Metallica albums I grew up with to the punk rock records that dominate my record player to this day.
Maryland groove rockers Clutch finally return with their long-awaited follow-up to 2009's Strange Cousins From the West. Their tenth studio album since forming in 1990, Earth Rocker takes the band's love for rock'n'roll and puts it on full display. The record is faster and heavier than some of their previous releases, featuring a much more distortion-laden sound from guitarist Tim Sult, showcased on the title track and "Crucial Velocity." The addition of harmonica, which makes "D.C.
While musical trends have come and gone over the course of the 23 years that Clutch have been roaming the earth, they've always thrived by just sitting back and doing their own thing, a trend they keep up on their tenth album, Earth Rocker. Though there's still a little of that good old Southern swing in the songs, the album is more of a straight-ahead rocker. With the exception of bluesy slow jammer "Gone Cold," the album feels like Clutch at their most efficient and economical, diverting the energy they might have used for extended jam sessions into watertight rippers like "Mr.
“Earth Rocker” is Clutch’s hard turn into primal boogie heaviness. The acoustic flourishes, blues songs, and psychedelic forays that shaped Clutch’s past few records are shelved and in their place are hard and barbed riff-driven tunes. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster keeps things going at a crisp clip while managing subtle shadings. The drummer’s tight control and bassist Dan Maines’s aggressive low-end let guitarist Tim Sult go nuts — you will air guitar.