Clutch – Earth Rockers


It’s fitting that the ultimate new school dad-rockers, Clutch, have released their tenth album in time for Father’s Day. On their last few records, the stoner rock pioneers have rocked out to a bluesy and funky-roots-rock influenced sound. While they largely continue this sound on Earth Rockers, they add an injection of classic heavy metal thunder, which the band attributes to recent tours with Motörhead and Thin Lizzy. Despite the strong heavy metal influence, there is little of the virtuosic soloing traditionally found in the genre. Rather, the band prefer to lock into some roarin’ grooves and let Neil Fallon’s gruff and soulful vocals soar over the mix. Speaking of groove, there are times when the Maryland outfit’s rhythm section’s breaks veer into Go-Go territory, a highly influential dance movement from nearby DC. Think Fu Manchu with less sustain and more bell-bottom rockin’ riddims. Lyrically the band take what are traditionally suburban middle American working class rock themes and values and flip on their head with a healthy dose of stoner surrealism. As an example, the album’s requisite “woman-who-done-me-wrong-song” is called “Cyborg Bette,” about an eponymous cyborg vixen. Other themes include werewolves, cowboys, Minority Report-esque time traveling meddlers, and even politics with the band’s most overtly political and satirical song in as many years “Mr Freedom,” which is ostensibly about Republican loudmouth chickenhawks. This panoply of motifs is expressed with trenchant wit and sly lyrics that only a seasoned songwriter can come up with. If all that sounds intriguing to you, let your hair down, strap on your bell bottoms, crank it to 11, and let’s rock! (Weathermaker Music, Alexandre Ilkkala-Boyer

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