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Clutch | Blast Tyrant | review | rock | Lollipop


Blast Tyrant (DRT Entertainment)
by Craig Regala

"Please allow me to adjust my pants, so that I may dance the good time dance and put the onlookers and innocent bystanders into a trance" (from "The Mob Goes Wild"). Clutch is a liquid groove hard rock juggernaut encompassing the rock thing deep and wide, '71 - '01. Jam band fluidity, funk rock grooves, acid wha-wha suckerpunch blues thump, mythical Americana storytelling and note bend/crush/grope... Zep to Fugazi, Grand Funkadelic Railroadisms, Sabbath to Helmet: These are their musical antecedents and peers. The continual black/brown/white racial dynamic gets played out in rock and roll. Always has and - unless this nation fails - it always will. These guys are both a bridge band to what is often despaired as "nü metal" and a continuation of classic hard rocks musical prerogative to "get after it." So what? If Helmet was still active, they'd get hissed at by scared and reactionary tight-asses too.

This is their best record. Buy it. The power hog grooves of the great The Elephant Riders ('98), the bite of the first salvo - '93's Transnational... and '03's Pure Rock Fury's concise/relaxed songcraft gels under a perfectly produced, evenhanded recording. From the roots country blues intro of "The Regulator" to "Cypress Grove"'s old school slip groove closer to War's "Lowrider" than anything else on "hard rock radio." Well, except maybe those Klearlight boys down there in New Orleans, and you're not hearing the long loping instru-grooves they cast on the dial, are ya? Clutch lock into a fluid band dynamic tooled to precision to such an extent you can't tell. No telegraphed tension, no show boating. Spacey BBQ sauce reality and cagey wisdom burst forth from these guys in buckets; in both words and musical delivery.
(45 West 21st St. New York, NY 10010)

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