Clutch
The Elephant Riders


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (143 Reviews)
December 13th, 2013 | 7 replies | 1,369 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Moving on from the grittier, rawer style of the band's previous albums, with The Elephant Riders, Clutch utilize a much wider range of influences to make their own unique style all the more interesting to listen to.

After the success of the band's sophomore self-titled second album, Clutch sounded ready to take on bigger and brighter things. As a result the band were moved to major label Columbia, and their third album, ]The Elephant Riders once again proved them a consistent and confident group. With help from a louder, more polished production, the grittier, rawer musical style of Clutch's first two albums had now been eschewed in favour of much more experimental sound, invoking influences from blues, jazz and even funk into the mix.

Although The Elephant Riders isn't all that different from Clutch's more recent albums, the instrumentation throughout is still enough to turn new heads, and the likes of “Ship of gold” and “The yeti” are both sterling examples. With heavier focus on the rhythm section, particularly bass and guitar work, songs such as the slower, more groove-oriented “Eight times over Miss October” and heavier “Green buckets” prove to be rather heavy and crunchy. There's nothing that stands out here in all honesty, but that's only because every song is more or less just as good as each other. Fallon's vocals more or less adopt the same range for every song, but when he takes on a more prominent approach, as with the chorus sections of both the excellent title track and “Muchas veces”, you can feel the power of the man's voice charging through the recording.

As said before, the band had taken on a different style for this album as they did with the previous two. The more funk-oriented style in “Ship of gold” and “Wishbone” (one of the heaviest songs in the band's career) utilizes those sweeping guitar notes and rumbling bass-lines to a great extent, and the controlled drum rhythms within “Eight times over Miss October” and closer “Dragonfly” give off a bluesier, groovier vibe which equally works in the band's favour. However, as an album, The Elephant Riders does grow tiresome towards the end, and may simply make those who prefer Clutch's heavier, faster songs go back to what they like about the band best.

That said, Clutch's third album is strong in both musicianship and consistency, making for a well-written set of sometimes simplistic, other times more complex tunes from what must have seemed fifteen years ago a very promising band. There isn't anything more to say about The Elephant Riders, save that it is a hint of what the band would go on to perfect with the next few albums.



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user ratings (163)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2013



7305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mad props for reviewing this. Solid write-up once again.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

KILL
December 13th 2013



70379 Comments


man this bands lame

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

ksoflas
December 13th 2013



343 Comments


Haven't heard it for a long time, i will after giving you my pos.
Right now.

KILL
December 13th 2013



70379 Comments


oh wait their s/t is ok

Inveigh
February 26th 2014



24752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rocks fucking hard

BigHans
February 26th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is probably my least jammed Clutch album, I should probably change that

BigBlob
April 3rd 2014



1610 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this one the most



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