After twenty years of creating solid rock and roll records and putting on high energy live shows, the Maryland hardrockers of Clutch have become seasoned veterans of the club circuit and have garnered a highly loyal fan base. It has been a long time since we have heard any new music from them, but Clutch is back with their tenth studio album, “Earth Rocker,” and believe me when I say it was worth the wait.
Recorded at The Machine Shop in Belleville, NJ, under the guidance of famed producer Machine, “Earth Rocker” is straightforward, simple, and faster paced than anything Clutch has ever done. The album takes off like a freight train with the title track and second single, “Crucial Velocity.” The riff heavy style of guitarist Tim Sult leads the way with killer grooves and the distinct vocals of frontman Neil Fallon are delivered with panache and a solid dose of attitude. Holding things together are the crushing rhythm section of bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. “DC Sound Attack” is super funky with a fantastic blues harmonica intro and outro and midway through the record is “Gone Cold,” a slower tune with a real storyteller feel to it. The faster pace picks right up again with the shuffle of “Book, Saddle & Go” and the galloping riffs of “Cyborg Bette.” Finishing things off with a bang is a terrific jam session on “The Wolfman Kindly Requests” that really captures the feel of a live Clutch show.
“Earth Rocker” is jam-packed with aggressive songs and quite simply the best Clutch record to date. It’s not often that artists reach their creative peak twenty plus years into the game, but that’s exactly what Clutch has done.