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From Transnational Speedway to Beale Street
on 18 February 2007
Clutch's latest album is another step in the band's evolution. Transnational Speedway and the early E.Ps like Impetus were brash, heavy and fairly aggressive. They became groovier and more laid back with the self titled and experimented on Elephant Riders. Pure Rock Fury did exactly what it said on the tin and Blast Tyrant was simpler and catchier than anything before it. 2005's Robot Hive was a culmination of everything that they'd learnt and indeed created and was a masterpiece in it's own right.
From Beale Street to Oblivion takes on a much groovier and vastly more bluesy perspective.
The first two tracks are fairly deceiving being two of the simplest most directly rocking tracks they've ever written. Power Player will be a live favourite no doubt. The tracks that follow are a tad subtler, are more complex structurally and swing more than anything on previous albums.
White's Ferry starts off mellow lead by Mick Shauer's hammond organ and blasts into a typical Clutch frenzy. Electric Worry is another sure-fire classic, it'll just make you smile; great tune!
The Rapture of Riddley Walker, Oppossum Minister and Mr.Shiny Cadillackness (best song title ever!?) are also up there with the best on previous albums.
Beale Street doesn't quite hit five stars because it doesn't seem to be as consistent as the other albums. On Robot Hive I really couldn't pick a favourite track whereas here it was pretty easy. Maybe some tracks just drift by but the best are way up there.
Theres a slightly re-worked version of One Eye Dollar from Jam Room on here which I didn't really understand other than It's a great tune.
From Beale Street to Oblivion is definitely a great album filled with bluesy, catchy rock tunes and anyone into Clutch will love it. It just doesn't quite reach those giddy heights reached by previous albums.
It'll still be in my top 5 of the year though!