(4 / 5)
Originally formed in Maryland, USA in 1991, Clutch signed to Warner imprint East West Records two years later for their debut album, “Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths”. Found here as CD one.
Produced by Jon Burnside and Steven Haigler, the album is a good showcase for their earlier, more American punk and hardcore influenced roots.
The band were and still are, Dan Maines (bass), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), Tim Sult (guitar) and Neil Fallon (vocals).
Also released by East West, tracks such as “Escape from The Prison Planet”, “Spacegrass” and “Big News”, from 1995’s self-titled “Clutch” album, saw the band move more towards a bluesy, more stoner-rock vibe. That self-titled album is offered here as disc two.
After several independently released records, plus a brief spell on Columbia, Clutch signed to Atlantic for their fifth long-player, the self-explanatory “Pure Rock Fury” in 2001.
With Notable guest appearances from stoner rock legend Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed, Saint Vitus & Spirit Caravan), as well as Mountain’s Leslie West, who co-wrote the song “Immortal” with Neil Fallon. Released as a single, “Immortal” was adapted from the Leslie West song, “Baby I’m Down”.
In this 44-track set, disc three, “Pure Rock Fury”, concludes with a live version of “Spacegrass”, from 1995’s “Clutch” album.
The fourth disc here collects together seven non-album tracks; “Tight Like That (Edit Remix)”, originally appeared on the promo E.P. “Songs Of Much Gravity”; “Apache” appeared as an extra track on the “Big News” single, as well as the Japanese edition of the “Clutch” album; “Immortal (Remix)”, was an extra track on the “Immortal” single; “7 Jam”, was recorded live at The Metropol, Pittsburgh, PA.; “Careful With That Mic… (Radio Edit)”, “Guild Of Mute Assassins” and the near 13-minute version of “Frankenstein (Extended)”, were all taken from the “Careful With That E.P.” collection.
The marketing blurb with this record, says it is “for fans of Monster Magnet, Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. Methinks it’s also for fans of Clutch, and there’s many of them around the globe after tours and shows with the likes of Lamb Of God, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Primus, Mastodon and Motorhead, and their own global touring.
Motorhead’s Lemmy said: “Clutch are a sound and hearty bunch of fellows that everybody should pay attention to NOW.” I saw them opening for Black Star Riders in the UK afew years ago, and they were magnificent. “Clutch make me wanna get up in the morning!!”, so says Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders.
Still going strong, they last toured in the UK in 2019, I believe. After two decades at it, this clutch ain’t burned out just yet!
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’