Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rock Profile Featuring : Clutch

One of the most uncompromising bands of the past decade and a half, Clutch have consistently done things their way. The Germantown, Maryland rockers first came on the scene with the 'Pitchfork' EP in 1991, and throughout their career have steadily metamorphosed. Starting out as somewhat of a hardcore influenced band on their initial releases, the band has continued to mature, refining their sound, adding diverse influences which range from metal, funk, progressive rock, blues and classic hard rock from the 70's. Thus, mere labels or categories don't fit with them. As of late you're likely to see an extended, almost Santana meets Deep Purple- like, Hammond organ inflected jam sitting next to heavy Sabbath or Zeppelin styled riffs, followed by a Howlin' Wolf cover, such as what was on display on 2005's 'Robot Hive/Exodus'.

A trend which has continued with their latest offering, the stellar 2007 release 'From Beale Street To Oblivion'. Featuring heavy riff rock alongside straight ahead blues boogie rock, even delving into a Southern stoner rock vibe at times, this is the work of a band at its creative peak. Far reaching in scope, this is an album which has the potential to have mass appeal, able to be enjoyed by metalheads, jam band aficionados, modern and classic rockers alike. Truly there's something for everyone, provided one has the musical taste to appreciate such diversity that is.

Fronted by vocalist Neil Fallon, consisting also of founding members Tim Sult on guitar, Dan Maines on bass and Jean- Paul Gaster on drums, amazingly this is a long lasting union. In a day and age when bands get together, then break up at a dizzying rate, they have, with the exception of the addition of keyboardist Mick Schauer in 2005, kept the lineup the same as it was 16 years ago. A fact which has allowed them to grow as musicians together, developing an almost jazz like telepathic sensibility between them in the process.

"Electric Worry" from the album 'From Beale Street To Oblivion' :

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