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Music Review: Clutch – From Beale Street to Oblivion

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They’re blues, they’re rock, they’re metal. Take your pick for Clutch, a band that’s been around for over twenty years and doesn’t want to be defined. Their newest release is titled From Beale Street to Oblivion and it’s definitely a unique groove.

At first, I couldn’t tell if the lead singer, Neil Fallon, was doing a lame George Thorogood imitation or a boring Ozzy Osbourne. It’s an interesting mix with a certain retro twist. In fact, the entire CD has an old sound to it. It was like listening to old Hendrix or Zeppelin music. According to the bio on the website, Beale Street was recorded directly to tape, no digital at all. That in itself gives the record a unique character.

It’s that old rocking blues sound that finally won me over. That and the attitude of Clutch. They seem to be interested in one thing: playing music. So they write and play what they feel like playing. Thus, Beale Street doesn’t fit easily into any kind of genre. Regardless, the tunes are loaded with sincerity.

“Electric Worry” has been playing on the radio and Headbanger’s Ball. It’s a snappy, metal tinged blues song. “Power Player” is fun song, full of Clutch attitude and uncommon songwriting talent. The lyrics invoke images of 007 for some reason. The other songs, with their similarly nebulous and unique lyrics, also convey settings and moods effectively. That’s a mark of good writing.

All in all, Clutch’s CD doesn’t spend a lot of time in my player but the band definitely made a unique statement in the world of rock.

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About Gray Hunter

  • AgentSmith67

    Maybe a listen to any of Clutch’s other albums would have provided less of a shock at their sound.
    They have consistently had that old analog zeppelin blues groove thing going.
    You are right about how they evoke a scene or a mood. Most of the great album “Elephant Riders” makes you feel like you are at a campfire at Antietam in 1863.

  • Gray Hunter

    I will have to check out other work from Clutch. I’m interested in hearing their hardcore sound, especially now that you mention it will have that old analog feel to it. Thanks.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “…and the attitude of Clutch. They seem to be interested in one thing: playing music.”

    It also sounds to me that they have a passion & talent as well. You don’t hear that in the “rock” scene that has taken over the airwaves. Bands like Nickelback and the likes are very bland. These guys bring it back to the day when rock was’t about sticking to a formula. It was about high energy & musicianship… Very Enjoyable & Good Review.