Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West review
|Album:||Strange Cousins From The West|
01. Motherless Child
02. Struck Down
03. 50,000 Unstoppable Watts
04. Abraham Lincoln
06. The Amazing Kreskin
08. Let A Poor Man Be
10. Algo Ha Cambiado
11. Sleestak Lightning
Maryland's Clutch have been around for nearly two decades now, have retained the same four members for the entirety of this time, have put out more album than you have fingers, and have toured relentlessly.
2009's Strange Cousins From The West marks their ninth full-length studio release and sees the band continuing from where they left off in 2007's From Beale Street To Oblivion. In past efforts, the band was perhaps a bit more wildly experimental, which often resulted in some great songs, but also in some misses as well. With Beale Street they kept it to a more direct and stripped-down southern-fried, blues-tinged stoner rock with a splash of funk vein approach. That trend continues with Strange Cousins. The result is an album that, as with its predecessor, is extremely strong top to bottom.
The band is tight, the product of countless live dates, and play extremely well with one another. They have a feel for one another's abilities that brings almost a little bit of a jam quality to their music. The result is song constructions with a combination of groove and a little bit of swagger as well. The great interplay between bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster leaves guitarist Tim Sult with the freedom to riff along or play something a little higher on the neck. Some of the coolest stuff is what's going on in the background, like the bass and drum work behind the solo on "Struck Down". The production is fantastic as well, giving each their space, drums sound crisp, the guitar has a good tone, and the bass rumbles along quite audibly - it moves you.
Singer Neil Fallon puts in his typical performance, which means some amazing vocals. From his soulful work in the dirge-like "Abraham Lincoln" to the well spoken but deranged ranting of "Sleestak Lightning", his voice, delivery and presence complete the Clutch package. His lyrics are as sharp as ever, with some great sing-along moments and some moments that are downright hilarious, like this passage from "Sleestak Lightning" describing the Chupacabra-esque being the narrator is stalking:
"It's got red eyes/It's got razor claws/It's got green skin/No it ain't a meth-head."
Speaking of the Clutch package, even the packaging of this album was simply amazing. Apparently Neil was not happy with the lame short booklet and boring artwork that accompanied Beale Street, so the artistic team went balls-out nuts on this project. Just a first class job that is really high on the wow factor for a regular release CD that is far better seen than described.
So Clutch isn't a metal band, but they sure as Hades rocked Hellfest a month ago, and if you check out Strange Cousins From The West they will rock you as well.
Stand-out tracks: "50,000 Unstoppable Watts", "Amazing Kreskin", and "Sleestak Lightning", which really ends the album on a high note.
||Written on 24.07.2009 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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Born Too Late
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