Clutch – Earth Rocker – Review


Earth Rocker (Weathermaker Music)
By Mike Delano

With a back catalog dotted with stargazing space rock, album-long jam sessions, and civil war concept albums, Clutch may seem a tough nut to crack for the uninitiated. For all of their eccentricities, though, they’re a really fun rock ‘n’ roll band, and Earth Rocker – incredibly, given that they’re 20+ years in – may be their most fun album yet. It’s got a wide-eyed admiration for classic rock throughout, but as with any style that the band sets its mind to, they filter it through the crazy Clutch looking glass and make it their own. The title track sounds like a long lost Kiss nugget with Neil Fallon channeling Mike Patton strut-stomping his way all over the song like T. Rex with a beard and flannels. Jello Biafra and Lard said that 70’s rock must die, but when the boys in Clutch find a way to cram harmonica and cowbell into “D.C. Sound Attack” and make it sound good, we may have to let it live after all. The album shakes with purpose all the way through, slowing things down only once for the fantastically evocative moper “Gone Cold.” Earth Rocker is focused and compact, and it gives off a similar vibe to Mastodon’s killer 2011 record The Hunter — I imagine the band meeting going something like: “Let’s put the high-minded stuff to the side for this one and bash out some fun-to-play, gets-you-on-the-first-listen songs that show these new bands that they’ve still got a long way to go.”

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