Punknews.org
Clutch - Earth Rocker (Cover Artwork)

Clutch

Clutch: Earth RockerEarth Rocker (2013)
Weathermaker

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

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 .
iTunes StoreAmazon


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. It had the aggression of metal with the attitude of punk, and it was downright weird. While I've certainly enjoyed Clutch's subsequent releases, none of them have ever quite captured that same magic, so when I heard they were re-teaming with Blast Tyrant producer Machine for the first time in nearly a decade, the Germantown, MD group had my full attention. Earth Rocker is a record that manages to be more aggressive and confrontational than their past few releases, without sacrificing an ounce of their melodic songwriting chops.

While albums like 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus and 2008's From Beale Street to Oblivion featured organist Mick Schauer and found the group expanding their sound through the exploration of new sonic textures, Earth Rocker finds the original quartet narrowing their focus to face-punching rock and roll. The opening title track commences the proceedings in a speedier, more traditionally heavy metal way than we've heard from the group in a long time. "Cyborg Bette" is even more intense. Their time spent touring with Motörhead really shines through on these tracks.

Which is not to say that Earth Rocker is a one-trick pony; underneath its buzzsaw guitars and shouted proclamations of "I'm a war monger, baby. I got blood in my eyes!", "D.C. Sound Attack" is a harmonica-laden track full of southern boogie, and "Mr. Freedom" is downright danceable. Meanwhile, "Gone Cold" is a downtrodden, mostly acoustic number, with a spoken word performance from vocalist Neil Fallon that recalls Tom Waits tracks like "Shore Leave" and "9th & Hennepin."

Earth Rocker is an apt title; this album rocks in a way that doesn't require much dissection. This is a record meant to be played at maximum volume, an album that makes everyday tasks like standing still and obeying posted speed limits near impossible. It might not reach the heights of Blast Tyrant, but not much in the genre does. It's certainly Clutch's most enjoyable album in a good number of years, and any fan of the group's post-Pure Rock Fury era would do well to give Earth Rocker a spin.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jimmy Eat World - Chase This LightThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenThe Hold Steady - Stay PositiveDeftones - White PonySeahaven - GhostTim Kasher - The Game of MonogamyMake Do and Mend - End Measured MileThe Gamits - PartsAgainst Me! - White Crosses

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
VinceMcMahon (April 26, 2013)

danperrone (3 days ago)

their s/t is just so amazing. never heard anything like it.

Yes!

paulrulzdood (April 24, 2013)

my brother-in-law and I have been Clutch fans since 1994/1995 and have followed their career closely ever since.

This is indeed their best album since Blast Tyrant. In my brother-in-laws opinion; since Pure Rock Fury. The review is spot-on. It recalls their early 2000's material and aggression while still combining in their more melodic/bluesy sound established on Robot Hive-Strange Cousins, but with more punch, aggression and passion.

Their best for me will probably forever be the self-titled, then I go Blast Tyrant, Elephant Riders and then this bad boy. out of their 10 albums, certainly in their top 5 any way you slice it, and their fans really responded well to the new material live, as it is awesome live. just saw them on 4/19 in Pittsburgh.

Paul

Dante3000 (April 23, 2013)

I've always loved these dudes. I remember the first time I saw them just being blown away by these scruffy, unassuming looking stoners making this great rock music. Didn't know this was even out. I'm going to have to check it out now.

danperrone (April 23, 2013)

their s/t is just so amazing. never heard anything like it.

jimmyhoghands (April 23, 2013)

I've been a huge Clutch fan since '93. The bands sound has evolved so much since then. Their first album, Transnational speedway league is so Fucking heavy and angry. Then came their S/T album. Which could be my favorite album ever written, by any band. Their last great record was Robot hive/exodus. After that they became stale. With Earth Rocker (terrible name), they seem to be getting back on track. It's pretty damn good.

danperrone (April 23, 2013)

criminally underrated band. this is a good album, not quite as good as blast tyrant, robot hive, or especially beale street, but it's sooo much better then strange cousins from the west. "dc sound attack!" is the jam.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go