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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Clutch, Part 1

From the metropolis that is Frederick Maryland, we have Clutch, certainly one of the most underappreciated and underrated bands of the last couple of decades...... a GREAT hard rock band with a voluminous catalog, this is a mystery to my why these guys never took off more than they did..... great stuff here, be forewarned, if you love good old hard rock, stoner rock, bluesy-riff rock, look no further.... Clutch is some fucking bad ass shit. No joke!

Clutch's lineup has remained fairly stable over the years, more or less vocalist/rhythm guitarist Neil Falon, lead guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines, and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster..... they've released a BUNCH of albums, and for my cash are one of the USA's best hard rocking/stoner (well, CLOSE to stoner) bands that this country has produced, and it's a complete blank to me as to why they have not drawn a bit of a bigger audience.

They formed, as stated before, in Maryland, ca. 1991....the first recordings of theirs that I happen to be in possession of are a couple of fine, somewhat sloppy EP's, 1991's "Pitchfork" and 1993's "A Promo Named Marcus"...... I've had these forever, I THINK they are pretty rare, if I'm wrong, well so be it, BUT there are some good tracks on the both of them..... in particular "Pitchfork", I think, "Promo" contains some cool live stuff as well where the band shows off their not-a-joke live chops..... I would try these out if I were you.....

Thier debut LP, "Transnational Speedway League, Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" is something of an unknown "semi-classic"... it's a good one, trust me, "A Shotgun Named Marcus" makes a return from the earlier EP, but better yet is "Binge and Purge", a fine early anthem, and "Walking In the Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks'.... this is a fine album and a fine starting point to a LONG career with a BUNCH of good material, buckle up.

The next album "Clutch", is a pretty much perfect piece of 1990's earlsy semi-stoner rock......maybe ust some GREAT hard rocking stuff, like the debut, you would not wish to be without this, if you are unfamiliar..... there is no limit to the great, spaced out, hard rocking tracks on this album, just at random, we have "Texan Book of the Dead", "Spacegrass", "Tim Sult vs the Greys" that's just throwing darts, though, this is a great, 4.5 star album, you really can't call yourself a fan of 90's hard rock/stoner rock without this one, it's GREAT.

In 1997 there was a re-release of the EP "Passive Restraints" (not included here) with a couple of extra tracks..... this is entitled "Impetus", and is ABSOLUTELY worth every second you spend to obtain it....the original EP was fine, and the addition of the demo version of the title track certainly does no harm.

Next, in 1998, they released "The Elephant Riders", yet another wonderful and hard slamming release..... long a favorite of mine, it contains GREAT shit like "Eight Times Over Miss October", "Crackerjack, "and the ending (other than the "hidden tracks",  and they are great as well) "The Dragonfly" which will rock your world, guaranteed...... there are many different pressings of this disc, each of which contain DIFFERENT hidden tracks, you will be perfectly happy with the ones that appear here,  "David Rose", and "Gifted and Talented".

They suffered a minor slump in my estimation, with 2000's "Pure Rock Fury" (I don't even like the TITLE!), although, hear me out, this is NOT a "bad" album....just not on par with some of their other work...the title track and "Immortal" are decent enough, but the "Careful With That Mic" silliness (a Korn/Limp Bizkit knockoff that Clutch, as well as everyone else, would have been well advised to avoid), does nothing for the album but bring it down to the level of mediocrity...... there are some good moments here, though, do not dismiss the CD due to MY dislike for "Nu-Rock" or whatever they called it (Hair Metal =1980's, Nu Rock=2000's, any questions?)

Next up they released a live LP that I don't seem to have here (thought I did, maybe it'll turn up before I finish this thang)...... the next release I have is a FINE rarities/unreleased tracks collection, "Slow Hole To China"....... it's got a LOT of good stuff on it, mostly for Clutch fans (of which I no doubt am), check "Equinox" and "Guild of Mute Assassins", there are LOTS of tracks here that are of "regular" album quality........ these guys were no joke, I can only imagine someone who has NEVER heard of them starting here and being blown away by all of this great material.

In 2004 they released the wonderful "Blast Tyrant", really fine album with tracks like "Mercury" and "Prophets of Doom", by now, "stoner rock" was coming into it's own, which HAD to be amusing to these dudes, whi had been doing this stuff for ten years..

OK, that's all for this post..... these dudes have so much good shit that it will take multiple posts.... hell, I just might consider them the MOST underappreciated/underrated bands of the 90's/00's, they were ahead of their time, ahead of the curve on the "stoner rock" thing, and it just seemed to me never got the attention that they deserved. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know, but to me this is some damn FINE hard rock, which, of course, is my "first love".....

We'll have part 2 tomorrow or sometime...... would REALLY like to hear your feelings on these "unknown" (that may be a bit harsh) hard core rockers, they melded punk/stoner/grunge/good old riff rock into a sound all their own........  they did it for a long time, and barely missed a me, more GOOD stuff tomorrow.

PITCHFORK-01 01 Wicker/02 Arcadia/03 Juggernaut/04 Far Country

A PROMO NAMED MARCUS-01 A Shotgun Named Marcus/02 Rats (live)/03 Juggernaut (live)/04 A Shotgun Named Marcus (live)/05 Molt

TRANSITIONAL SPEEDWAY LEAGUE-01 A Shotgun Named Marcus/02 El Jefe Speaks/03 Binge and Purge/04 12 Ounce Epilogue/05Bacchanal/06 Milk of Human Kindness/07 Rats/08 Earthworm/09 Heirloom 13/10 Walking in the Great Shining path of Monster Trucks/11 Effigy

CLUTCH-01 Big News I/02 Big News II/03 Rock N Roll Outlaw/04 Texan Book of the Dead/05 Escape From the Prison Planet/06 Spacegrass/07 I Have the Body of John Wilkes Boothe/08 Tight Like That/09 Animal Farm/10 Droid/11 The House That Peterbilt/12 7 Jam/13 Tim Sult vs the Greys

IMPETUS-01 Impetus ((Demo)/02 Pile Driver/03 Passive Restraints/04 Impetus/05 High Caliber Consecratot

THE ELEPHANT RIDERS-01 The Elephant Riders/02 Ship of Gold/03 Eight Times Over Miss October/04 The Soapmakers/05 Untitled/06 Muchas Veces/07 Green Bucket/08 Wishbone/09 Crackerjack/10 The Dragonfly/11 David Rose/12 Gifted and Talented

PURE ROCK FURY-01 American Sleep/02 Pure Rock Fury/03 Open Up the Border/04 Careful With That Mic/05 Red Horse Rainbow/06 The Great Outdoors/07 Smoke Banshee/08 Frankenstein/09 Sinkemlow/10 Immortal/11 Brazenhead/12 Drink to the Dead/13 Spacegrass (live)

SLOW HOLE TO CHINA (RARE AND UNRELEASED)-01 Slow Hole to China/02 Nickle Dime/03 Sea of Destruction/04 Oregon/05 Easy Breeze/06 Four Lords (And One More)/07 Rising Sons/08 Guild of Mute Assasins/09 Willie Nelson/10 Equinox/11 Hoodoo Operator/12 Day of the Jackalope

BLAST TYRANT-01 Mercury/02 Profits of Doom/03 The Mob Goes Wild/04 Cypress Grove/05 Promoter (of Earthbound Causes)/06 The Regulator/07 Worm Drink/08 Army of Bono/09 Spleen Merchant/10 (In the Wake of) The Swollen Goat/11 Weathermaker/12 Subtle Hustle/13 Ghost/14 (Notes from the Trial of) La Curandera/15 WYSIWYG

OK, guys n gals, lotta stuff here, mostly pretty damn good if you have tastes somewhat/anywhere similar to my own, Clutch have been a VERY under-loved band in their time, let's spread this around a bit and see if we can achieve them a small percentage of the popularity that they really do deserve......good hard rock, all I can say, over a long period of time........tune in TOMORROW for the "rest" of their fine career!











  3. Thank you for the Clutch. I have to agree that they were always WAY under appreciated. Everyone that I ever turned them onto fell in love immediately. Have you ever heard the remastered Blast Tyrant? The acoustic cuts make it worth the price alone. As always thanks for all the great tunes. Appreciate it.

  4. Thanks for this huge amount of Clutch!! I also dig their off-shoot, all instrumental band The Bakerton Group. Goes to show that these guys enjoy having fun with music, when they're not having fun in Clutch. Check 'em out!

  5. Would you be able to repost a link for 'A Promo Name Marcus'?