Sunday, June 23, 2013

EarthRocker Review

As noted I was extremely excited for the release of Clutch’s new album (and just as pumped about the ensuing tour).  Before we dive in I just want to put it out there that this might be the best album they have released since Robot Hive/Exodus in 2005.  The arch of this band from their earlier heavier work to their jam/blues rock influenced work over 20 years and 10 albums hit what I thought was their sweet spot in the early 2000s.  In the transition into the jam/blues band they toned down their intensity and became a stoner rock band with an edge.  My favorite albums, Blast Tyrant and Robot Hives, both came during this phase.  The past 10 years they have lived in the jam/blues rock realm which has produced some good material, but nothing ever lived up to their work of the early 2000s. 

EarthRocker is Clutch’s step back into their Stoner Rock phase and I absolutely love it.  Its fast and in your face but it keeps the same qualities (like the unique lyrics and the blues influences) that defines them.  There are a few standouts on the album, my personal favorites being Crucial Velocity, DC Sound Attack and The Wolf Man Kindly Requests. However the entire album is good.  Don’t be selective and just listen to the whole fuckin thing.

One of the most interesting songs is actually the my least favorite, the title track EarthRocker.  When I try to describe Clutch as a band my go to is always that they are better live than recorded.  Their music is made with passion  and to be played loud, live and with a ton of energy behind it.  EarthRocker verbalizes this mentality:

 “If your gonna do it, do it live on stage,
Or don’t do it at all
If your gonna do it you better take it to the stage
Or don’t do it at all “
I Don’t need your sticky laminate,
I don’t need your VIP,
I don’t need you Validation,
because I wear mine on my sleeve”

This became abundantly clear to me at their last show in Pittsburgh.  EarthRocker seemed so out of place on an album packed with great songs but I realized that EarthRocker the song is like an anthem for the band.  It symbolizes the lets play music, rock out, have fun, drink, smoke, party mentality they bring along with their passion for what they do and their musical influences. 

Regardless of your past experience with this band or this music genre if you are feeling in the mood to rock out you can’t go wrong with EarthRocker.

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