A nice reminder that this band does exist
Yes, this album came out in the summer, but you also may have noticed how I write about things that aren’t exactly brand new, have you? And in this particular case some website’s lack of attention towards this album is borderline criminal!
Without being the most popular name in rock music Clutch are big enough for you to have at least heard about them. The story is pretty much the following – in 93 their debut album came out and they played stoner rock at punk rock ad hardcore speeds, then they started slowing things down with every following record, making some of the landmark albums in stoner rock history, standing proud alongside bands like Kyuss, ad bam – here are we now! And to put it even shorter – they rock, go listen to them!
“Strange Cousins from the West” is the band’s ninth studio album but also their first for their own label Wheatmaker Music so they definitely were calmer while recording it. And maybe because of that the album is a bit more simple and more to the roots of the music compare to their last few ones that were a bit more experimental. And the band also gave freedom to their blues influences a little bit more than previously, making things a bit less metal alongthe way, although I’m not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.
I couldn’t care less to be honest as I’m perfectly aware where all of Black Sabbath and metal come from, and songs like “Motherless Child” and “Minotaur” carry an emotion strong enough to make any listener move with Neil Fallon’s gospel like vocals (working pretty well as a simulation of complete insanity in “Whitchdoctor”). And yeah, songs like “Struck Down” may be somewhat primitive structure-wise, but if this ai9n’t the best rock song I’ve heard in quite a while I’d be damned!
The album is somewhat of a slow sinker but after the few necessary listens that you need in order to get it, you’re hooked. Yeah, maybe it is not the best Clutch album, but it is a damn good reason to remind you they do exist. And later you can get into “The Elephant Riders”, “Transnational Speedway League” and the self titled as much as you want!
Verdict: 5 / 6
Band MySpace profile
Оfficial band website