Thread: Alfred's Audio
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
one big soul
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,072

(Requested by Antonio)

Clutch "From Beale Street To Oblivion"

Year: 2007
Genre: Rock/Blues
Length: 48:18

My first experience with the Maryland-based hard rock group Clutch was their rough, mopey, no frills debut album Transnational Speedway League. I had decided to give the band after Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster singer, Dallas Taylor, recommended them in an interview. Now, jumping ahead to their eighth album, From Beale Street To Oblivion, I see that I picked the wrong album to get into this band... but maybe that was for the better.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how far Clutch had come since their debut album. The change in the vocals, lyrics, and instrumentation is huge. Whereas the debut was a punk-influenced stoner rock album, this is a soulful, bluesy hard rocker, huge emphasis on the blues.

I've always had a thing for blues, and this album does the genre justice by revamping it with some modern heaviness to keep it all fresh. I'm not going to be a pretentious asswipe by pretending like I know the singer's name here, but whatever his mama called him, his voice sounds a million times better than that drugged-up grunt that I was used to hearing before. Not only is it an improvement, but he can sing the blues with the best of 'em.
Of course, instruments are another vital part of blues, and whoever does the guitar sure manages to pull off all my favorite blues-clichés (I mean this in the best way possible).

I got this album because I liked the single Electric Worry, it seemed like a pretty awesome and straightforward heavy blues song. But when I dug through this album and listened to the lyrics, I was amused at some of the things these guys write. When Vegans Attack is a favorite of mine:
How’s that hardcore fanzine? Still take the piss?
Y and T got records, demos on cassette.
Summer of the seven inch. Too cool for school.
Manifestos at Kinko’s, pinko commies play no fools.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights.
Poking fun at underground hardcore, vegans, and everything in between = pure win.

So in conclusion, I won't lie and say that Clutch created what I'd call a masterpiece, but I will say that they pulled off (several?) an infectious, heavy blues record that is worthy of spending some time with. I dig the vocals, I dig the licks, I dig the lyrics, I dig the whole thing, and I'll probably listen to Clutch some more. Thank you to Antonio for bringing your clutch love to this forum, or else I probably never would have revisited them.


Last edited by Alfred; 10-21-2009 at 10:50 AM.
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