Reteaming with Machine for the first time since BLAST TYRANT paid off big time. Maryland’s finest (and world’s finest live band in my opinion) Clutch have once again made an example of a modern rock n’ roll record that can be held up as current music that will stand the test of time. This is, in my opinion, the most consistent band going, a group who have contributed more to the underground via road dog touring, great personalities and a drive to keep it rooted to true grit. Listen to the assured sing along stomp of “Mr. Freedom” and the explosive Tim Sult soloing to witness pure, refined human chemistry. Clutch may have come as close yet to making a studio record that captures their live electricity.
“Everyone keeps telling’ me, Neil you got to quit your lowdown ways,” croons Neil Fallon on second single “Constant Velocity”. Well, the pure rock fury on hand on this disc, a much faster offering than the excellent and bluesy STRANGE COUSINS FROM THE WEST, should allow for lots of room for low down dirty behavior. The album is like they perfected the thinner, slightly twangy guitar tone of the self-titled Clutch classic platter and just made it much bigger. Dan Maines’ low end is monstrous on here, in perfect lock with the great JP Gaster spring step grooves that make this band so heavy but also danceable. Ass shakin’ puts the people in their seats. Take note, head bangers. The upcoming tour with fellow legends of the stoner path Orange Goblin is not to be missed.
Fallon is on fire as usual, even more riled up than ever. That the band cites Thin Lizzy, Bad Brains and Motorhead as the driving influences behind the album pretty much assures it would be my fave outing from Clutch in awhile (as those are kind all of my other favorite bands besides the Melvins, hahha). This shit is just pushy and powerful and will ensure a lot of elbows in the pit. “I’m a war monger baby, I got blood in my eyes and I’m looking’ at you,” bellows Fallon in the cowbell heavy groove of album standout “D.C. Sound Attack”. The song does what Clutch does best…takes a simple Clutch groove where you can’t believe a riff so to the point is so damn good and manages to embody the best traditions of hardcore, blues, social commentary and hard rock in one fell swoop.
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