Released in 1995, Clutch deliver their sophomore groovy, riff-laden self-titled album. Clutch
was met by slight mainstream exposure and most fans of the band consider this album to be the bands finest moment as well being regarded as one of the best stoner rock albums released in the 90's. What Clutch made is an album that can be intelligent when it wants to and strange when it feels right. In this album lies the signature vocal style of Neil Fallon, the groovy guitar playing of Tim Sult, the booming, funky bass lines of Dan Maines and the superb, catchy drumming of Jean-Paul Gaster.
The album runs at around a little more than 55 minutes, but in that time Clutch manages to accomplish their mission very well. Zeppelin/Sabbath-esque riffs straggle throughout the album and they are quite damn catchy and impressive to say the very least. The bass lines are also up to par with the guitar riffs. For example, the album's opener, Big News I
features those signature groovy catchy, funk bass lines and guitar riffs that make this album such a grandiose accomplishment. Big News II
picks up right off where its brother track left off except this time it is much more fast paced and more riff laden than the last track. Great combo track to start off an awesome record. The lyrics are quite vapid and hilarious and show off Neil Fallon's unique charismatic vocal style that ranges from high pitch growls to low toned snarls. Hell, some tracks on the record like Escape From the Prison Planet
even have Fallon sort of rapping though not annoying a la Fred Durst.
Texan Book of the Dead
is one of my favorite songs off Clutch
. All of the members nail it on this track. Its a fun song to rock your head to and is also fast paced like Big News II
and the energetic, Animal Farm
. Also, as mentioned before, Clutch is known to furnish very intelligent, yet inane lyrics and this song shows it early in the album. Whats so good about this song is how Neil shows that he is not a one dimensional singer. He once again changes vocal tones and styles very effortlessly and concise. Spacegrass
features some of the most bizarre, unconventional lyrics I have ever heard and I mean that in a good way. The lyrics are about a dude traveling in space with his Dodge Swinger 1973 seeing outer space wonders like "watching the universe expand"
. The song feels very spacey as well with cool little sounds floating around your speakers providing a sort of ambiance and once the thundering power riffs kick in, they will send your head bopping back and forth in this way-out there tune. This is one of the album highlights and a fan favorite and its obvious why.
Every song on this record is uniquely its own. No track sounds like another and you won't get déja vu listening to this record. Clutch
has so much variety that there is a little something for everyone. But needless to say, that is a bit of an exaggerated statement. This album isn't really
for everyone. Neil Fallon's vocal style, albeit loved by many, may have to grow on new listeners as some may find it annoying and foreign to them, but nevertheless Fallon is a great powerful vocalist with quite the attitude.
The thing about Clutch
is that it gets better and better with every listen, slowly turning into a classic for some with amazing replay value. Droid
and 7 Jam
have that instant lovable Clutch charm and will get stuck in your head with its signature unique blend of Tony Iommi influenced riffs and its sophisticated drum beats. Truly every track on this record has memorable riffing and well seasoned bass lines. No song drags on too much producing meaningless, unnecessary cacophonous noise that takes the song nowhere. Also what might also be noted is the crisp, warm audio production. All of the instruments can be heard clearly in the mix without one instrument overpowering the other. You might even consider this album a classic if it weren't for some of the flaws it has. For instance, some songs might be boring to some people on their first listen and it isn't the most accessible album out there, but other than the minor blemishes mentioned, this is an ass-kicking album to check out! If your into great 90's rock music then this is your album.
Big News II
Texan Book of the Dead
Tight Like That