Opening a can of riffs and showcasing their classic story telling mode that Clutch are renowned for, Earth Rocker is a stripped back straight up rocker that has perhaps more in similarity to their 2004 release, Blast Tyrant, than any recent Clutch offerings.
Undoubtedly infectious, the album contains a groove that is rare to find these days in the world of hard rock, where bands seem more intent to experiment rather than just rock out. Clutch themselves have not been innocent of that in recent releases with the band incorporating a keyboardist on the last three albums. In some cases it has worked but on Earth Rocker they seem intent to just write the most completely in your face Clutch album possible.
The self titled track is a beast. Kicking off the album with the fervour of men much younger, the band quickly lay down a foundation of groove entwined with stoner rock n roll. It’s fun, energetic and the lyrics are as cool as ever: “If you’re going to do it, do it live on stage or don’t do it at all”. ‘Crucial Velocity’, the second single, ups the ante further with a melodic groove that can only be played as loud as possible.
‘D.C Sound Attack’ rolls a harmonica into the riff that rolls nicely into another out and out rocker, ‘Unto The Breach’. ‘Gone Cold’ is the point of difference on the release with Neil Fallon almost leaning into a spoken word preach while the band waver from jazzy gentle background to a country Johnny Cash-like twang. However, it’s not long until the electricity of the album returns including the incorrigible ‘Cyborg Bette’ with Fallon passionately exclaiming, “Why you gotta run so hot”?
Having just been announced as the first sideshow act of next year’s instalment of Soundwave, if you haven’t heard the new Clutch album by now you just simply need to put Earth Rocker at the top of the ‘to do’ list. One of Clutch’s best albums without doubt and sure to make several Album of the Year lists in the coming weeks.
1. Earth Rocker
2. Crucial Velocity
3. Mr Freedom
4. D C Sound Attack
5. Unto the Breach
6. Gone Cold
7. The Face
8. Book, Saddle & Go
9. Cyborg Bette
10. Oh Isabella
11. The Wolf Man Kindly Requests…