Clutch
Sunrise On Slaughter Beach


3.8
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
September 12th, 2022 | 36 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once more unto the breach

Clutch are a bit of a rare bird in the realm of stoner music, one of the few artists in the field to emerge and acquire a name for themselves even among those who pay little attention to the genre. In reality, it’s not that hard to understand why: while Clutch have always shared the typical stoner rock penchant for goofy lyrics, retro rock aesthetics, and fuzzy guitar, they really just rawk in an easily accessible way which proves hard to dislike. That, combined with a quite solid record of consistent album quality, has been enough to solidify their revered status.

Sunrise On Slaughter Beach, the band’s thirteenth LP, arrives at a moment in which this reviewer finds their spot on the pedestal getting ever so slightly shaky. Around thirty years into the band’s career, this isn’t so much an open criticism as an acknowledgement that (nearly) everyone slows down eventually. In this case, the group is nearly a decade removed from 2013’s late-era stunner Earth Rocker, which was followed up by the rock-solid Psychic Warfare and the somewhat disappointing Book Of Bad Decisions. With four years transpiring since that last album’s release, this latest record stands as a strong clue whether Book Of Bad Decisions represented the harbinger of the band’s long-averted decline, or simply a weaker effort undermined by a few ill-advised decisions (most notably its rather excessive runtime relative, given a dearth of strong highlights).

What’s the verdict? Well, a little bit of both, but (happily) mostly the latter. Sunrise On Slaughter Beach is unlikely to retrospectively rank among Clutch’s finest albums, but it’s a rather strong effort nonetheless which should please the vast majority of the group’s fanbase while simultaneously correcting the primary mistakes of its predecessor.

In that sense, Sunrise On Slaughter Beach is a dramatic adjustment. The new release features a tidy and well-pruned tracklist (nine songs in just over thirty-three minutes), and it’s all no-frills, bread-and-butter Clutch-ery. The opening duo of songs set the tone with the fast-paced, adrenaline-driven opener “Red Alert (Boss Metal Zone)” and the melodic crunch of “Slaughter Beach”, both of which are some of the album’s finest offerings. Among the later highlights are another ripper, “We Strive For Excellence”, and the closer “Jackhammer Our Names”, which leaves an air of gravitas in its wake.

As a whole, it doesn’t feel like Clutch are aspiring to do much new with this album, but it’s a powerful reprise of their long-running shtick, one that turns out satisfying and nostalgic for those who have been following the band for a while. It must be noted that the standout tunes here don’t quite match up to those of works like Blast Tyrant or Earth Rocker, and the track-by-track consistency here isn’t up to par with even second-tier Clutch albums like From Beale Street To Oblivion or Pure Rock Fury (while all of these songs are good and there are no obvious missteps, a few aren’t especially memorable). That said, though, it’s hard to imagine many Clutch fans (or even listeners who have just a passing interest in the band) not enjoying what’s on offer here. It’s simply a dose of what this crew does best, punchy rockers near-guaranteed to get feet tapping and heads nodding, infused with the usual quirky sense of humor, typified by Neil Fallon bellowing out Dungeons & Dragons-inspired lines in “Mountain Of Bone” or the anachronistic assertion in “Three Golden Horns” that “jazz music corrupts our youth”. Sunrise On Slaughter Beach is far from a perfect effort, but it’s good to have the merry band from Maryland back again regardless.



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user ratings (81)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
While Sunrise on Slaughter Beach may not have the scope of Clutch’s absolute best albums, it’s a...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Album is out Friday, Sep 16th.



TLDR, if you like Clutch, you'll like this, but it's not one of their best albums.

Pikazilla
September 12th 2022


24575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like clutch

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Hey, me too

rodrigo90
September 13th 2022


7387 Comments


I entered here with my classic "Fantano's gonna hate this one" but then I remember that he hates Thrice no clutch.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2022


17884 Comments


Is this another one of Sput's infamous 3.8 bands.

DadKungFu
September 13th 2022


2233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

10 years since earth rocker I feel old



who gives a shit what fantano thinks lol

Pajolero
September 13th 2022


1288 Comments


I'm just happy this isn't another 15-track 1-hour slog, but a solid no-bullshit Clutch record. Can't wait to see them in a couple of months.

Pho3nix
September 14th 2022


1396 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album art is kinda cool

Thibs
September 14th 2022


2903 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

10 years since earth rocker I feel old [2]

JeetJeet
September 16th 2022


11699 Comments


Album art is incredibly awesome

south_of_heaven 11
September 16th 2022


5595 Comments


More Clutch is good.

unholypassion
September 16th 2022


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is actually way better then I was expecting, I highly recommend it. Best songs are Mercy Brown and Nosferatu Madre.

unholypassion
September 16th 2022


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is actually way better then I was expecting, I highly recommend it. Best songs are Mercy Brown and Nosferatu Madre.

unholypassion
September 16th 2022


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is actually way better then I was expecting, I highly recommend it. Best songs are Mercy Brown and Nosferatu Madre.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2022


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

So nice I had to say it thrice!

JS19
September 16th 2022


7771 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why doesn't the tagline say 'Once More Unto the Beach'... Like, it's right there for you

Coldplaz
September 16th 2022


179 Comments


A bit too short at 33minutes but at least it doesn't drag like Book of Bad Decisions

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2022


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

@JS19, that never crossed my mind somehow. Live and learn...

ZippaThaRippa
September 17th 2022


10661 Comments


Completely wasted opportunity to write “once more unto the beach”

You damned fool

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2022


5814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol



Great album, this length is perfect for Clutch. After 35-40 minutes, they tend to be a bit too much.



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