Maryland also funk-blues psychonauts continue their stellar journey on twelfth album

ByDave Everley04 September 2018


There are few irrefutable facts in this civilization, however here’s one: Clutch don’t make negative albums. They set the bar high as soon as they initially crawled out of the backwoods of Maryland also at the beginning of the 1990s. Twelve albums of mutant stoner-blues later on, they’re still clearing it eexceptionally time.

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Publication Of Bad Decisions doesn’t bust that winning streak. In truth it’s up there with the incredibly finest records they’ve released – 2007’s Blast Tyrant, 1995’s self-titled second album, 2013’s Planet Rocker. It’s punchy and also wise, freaky and funny, and also it throbs and also hums like an electrical fence.

Clutch hit on the killer formula a long time ago and also have actually been tweaking the doesage ever since: one part fuzzy boogie rock, one component gnarly hardcore, one part tight-arsed funk, one component street-corner mysticism. That’s not to say they repeat themselves. This time approximately they’ve majored on rocket-sustained blues with a side order of the Washington DC funk they thrived up listening to. As if to prove it, singer Neil Fallon bellows ‘Def-con, tractor beams, weaponised funk!’ on the dizzy, sci-fi fever dream that is In Walks Barbarella, amid the type of jabbing horns that Parliament would certainly have deployed 40 years back.

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Fallon is Clutch’s magnetic centre. He’s acquired the mind of a beat poet and also the mouth of a carnival barker. ‘Gimme the secrets and get the hell out of Dodge,’ he bellows on opening track Gimme The Keys, an explosion of fuzz and wordplay that floors the pedal and also watches the cloud of dust recede in the rear-watch mirror. A few songs later he’s threatening (promising?) to run for President. ‘I’m gonna kiss all the babies, probably kiss the mommas too,’ he intones drily on How To Shake Hands, adding that he’ll ‘put Jimi Hendrix on the twenty-dollar bill and Bill Hicks on the five note’.

But Clutch are more than simply one male and also his brain. Fallon’s flights of lyrical elaborate are provided wings by the tightest band this side of the J.B.s. Guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and also drummer Jean-Paul Gaster deserve to flip between the grungey boogaloo of Spirit Of ’76, via its references to Mohicans and peanut farmers, to the unintended pyschedelic coda of Emily Dickinson (the best song about a tragic 18th-century Amerideserve to poet you’ll hear this year) without breaking sweat.

If any kind of other band also had actually made an album this good, the human being of rock’n’roll would certainly have tilted on its axis. But it’s Clutch we’re talking about, and this is what they do. Long might they proceed.

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