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.