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!
on 7 February 2009
Clutch are a band on a roll. They delivered two landmark albums in 2005 and 2006 ('Blast Tyrant' and 'Robot Hive/Exodus') and managed to pull another out of the hat in 2007. Although a little shorter than its predecessors, 'From Beale Street...' is probably the best Clutch album yet, although it says much for their consistency and inventiveness that that's a pretty close call.
Twelve blistering cuts reinvent Clutch's familiar territory. This is not a band with a diverse sound, and yet the recipe never gets stale. The sound is both crisper and a little more bluesy than on previous records and Neil Fallon's lyrical abilities continue to astound. Nowhere will you find a more affirming dose of cynical pugnacity than when he sings:
'You can always tell the terrorist!/By his cologne and the watch on his wrist/It says I'm the type of man that can kick off anywhere/Kick off anywhere'
Other song topics continue to delight in true Clutch style, taking in tattooed vegans (on 10-speed bikes), arrogant alcoholics and pacts with the Devil, not to mention a somewhat surprising (but very pleasing) nod to Russell Hoban's post-apocalyptic masterpiece 'Riddley Walker', complete with in-jokes and fictional dialect.
A hugely invigorating and witty album. Get your hands on it if you like your heavy music groove-laden and brimming over with wit. I'm going to listen to it now.
Essential cuts: 'Power Player', 'Devil and Me', 'Electric Worry', 'When Vegans Attack' and 'Mr. Shiny Cadillackness'.
Clutch's latest opus is simply another snapshot of the band's stunning evolution. Rather aptly, it opens with the catchy, upbeat 'You Can't Stop The Progress' which segues almost immediately into the superb, tongue-in-cheek 'Power Player' (sample lyric: "You can always tell the terrorist by his cologne and the watch on his wrist"). The rest of the album is characterised by a distinctly bluesy feel - one that was hinted at on previous LP Robot Hive/Exodus - but as always, it's by no means a straightforward take on the genre, with Neil Fallon's lyrics in particular adding that unique and bizarre twist to proceedings. "Has your child completed his or her suspicious activity booklet? Don't let this summer go to waste" he implores on the quite brilliantly-titled 'Mr Shiny Cadillackness'.
With 'Evil' Joe Barresi on production duties, the album's sound is both warm and wonderfully rich. Eric Oblander of long-time friends/tour buddies Five Horse Johnson makes a welcome appearance or two on harmonica, with the obvious highlight being 'Electric Worry' - a foot-stomping, old-school blues rock classic. Other highlights include 'When Vegans Attack' and 'Opossum Minister', both of which exhibit Clutch's trademark looseness. There has always been a certain fluidity to Clutch's music - a natural propensity to groove - and yet Beale Street is arguably the band's most cohesive album to date. Indeed, it's difficult to find fault with this record at all and I for one will be down the front, shakin' my ass to these tunes next time the boys are in town. Make sure you are too.
on 5 July 2011
I only discovered Clutch by accident - they were scheduled to play in Greece and I had never heard of them, so being curious I did some research on the web and ... was completely blown away. I cannot believe I had not heard of them before. I ordered immediately their most recent 5 cds (Pure Rock Fury 2001, Blast Tyrant 2004, Robot Hive/Exodus 2005, From Beale Street to Oblivion 2007, and Strange Cousins from the West 2009) and have discovered a whole new universe of (how do I put this ...) old school, unpretentious hard rock for men. Clutch is, to me, a core rock band: talent forged of 20+ years of playing together; relevance from innovation; and professional skill missing from so many bands today.
Clutch released their eighth studio outing From Beale Street To Oblivion in 2007, an album which saw the band include a lot more of the blues influences which were slowly creeping into the band's overall sound.
For those who don't know, Clutch play rock music sounding somewhere between stoner and classic rock with a curious mixture of loose jam-band vibes and ultra tight precision performances. This album in particular sees the band adopt a stronger blues influence as well, for an even more diverse mixture of styles.
Singer Neil Fallon has an amazing voice which helps him come across as a crazed gospel singer one minute, a ragged blues man the next and then a hard rock front man at a moment's notice. The man's eclectic appeal is one of the band's primary selling points.
The lyrics are truly spectacular; some really unique observations are made, complex historical and political references sit beside surrealist imagery and large doses of humor all mixed together on each album and often within each song. As well as the vocals and lyrics; the individual musicians are incredible, from the astounding rock solid drummer J.P Gastor to the subtle and interesting bassist and guitarist Dan Maines and Tim Sult, both of whom are ridiculously talented individuals.
Beale Street' is a strong and consistent album; opening up with that fast and powerful double-punch of 'You Can't Stop Progress,' and 'Power Player,' the album rarely lets up, and is one of the band's most instant releases. The music on the album is a lot more simple and direct than on previous albums, although the record keeps the inclusion of keyboards by Mick Schauer as well, which were introduced on the band's previous album.
Highlights include the lyrically brilliant 'The Devil And Me,' the bluesy 'Electric Worry' (which features Eric Oblander of Five Horse Johnson on harmonica) and the gigantic album closer 'Mr. Shiny Cadillackness,' all of which are fantastic songs, on an already strong album.
Overall, From Beale Street To Oblivion to is a great release from an excellent band and I'd highly recommend that you check it out, although with caveat that the band have strayed very far away from their earlier sound. If you don't like the blues influences and would prefer something more similar to the band's oldest albums, maybe reconsider. For everyone else who just wants some amazing rock music, make sure to get yourself a copy. Newer editions even feature a nine track live disc as bonus content, so what's not to like ?
on 27 December 2011
What can i say?
Clutch is for me the best rock/metal band ever,
i usually listen to much harder metal/punk/hardcore,
but this band really have the groove going on!
on 20 April 2007
Clutch must have the most consistantly excellent back catalogue of any band ever. I cannot over emphasise how good they are, and this, their ninth studio album, doesn't blot their flawless record. Clutch have always had bluesy elements in their musical mix but this and their last release 'Robot Hive/Exodus' have pushed it to the forefront. The recent addition of hammond organ into the band's lineup have also helped create a more blues orientated sound. More blues and less metal? Hammond organ?Normally, alarm bells would be ringing at this point. But do not worry:you can trust Clutch. The massive riffs and grooves are still present, as are the John Bonham style drumming. And one element of the band that continues to improve is their trump card, singer Neil Fallon. Not only has his distinctive vocal work got better and better, his lyrics have become the highlights of Clutch's work. I regard him as one of the best lyricists in the business. Mixing anything from modern slang to ancient mythology, Fallon continues to amuse, inform and entertain with his wide ranging subject matter and phrasing. On this album just a few of the more obvious references include Lucifer's fall from grace (The Devil and Me), apocalyptic novel Riddley Walker (The Rapture of Riddley Walker)and an depression era drifter's thoughts (Electric Worry). Musical highlights include the opening three tracks ( You Can't Stop Progress, Power Player and The Devil and Me) - instant fan favourites that kick ass bigtime. Bluesy first single Electric Worry is another highlight, mixing an old blues classic with a more modern sounding, fast paced Clutch rock workout. Perhaps not as good as previous album Blast Tyrant, this is still an absolute killer rock album and undoubtably one of the albums of the year.
on 8 August 2007
robot hive / exodus left me cold i dont know why, from beale st injects something into my veins and gets me going, maybe its the toe tappiness of the entire album, the constant use of a harmonica and the general blast tyrant feel to the album.
disappointing live this album keeps my faith in clutch strong, it whizzes by so fast, doesnt make you want to hit skip at any point, a good start to clutch
on 2 April 2007
clutchs 8th album,is certainly one of the years best albums,it could well challenge for the best album of their career,but time will tell on that one,but one thing is for sure,from beale street to oblivion is something else in terms of its quality.
Clutch are a band that the word evolve was created for,from their earlier more metal leanings to a more rock based and then to a more groovier feel and now to a more soulful and even groovier sound,maybe their most commercial of albums,maybe not,depends how you look at it,but the focus here is on a sound that will lift you off your chair and get you moving,this is an album of infectious quality,one that will linger with you.
Clutch are a band that see themselves as a jam band,here one gets the impression that if they jammed all of this then they deserve medals for the song structure is never messy,the quality is king here.
The album opens with the drum led 'you cant stop progress' and you will be grooving away,let me assure you of that,the sublime 'power player' follows and that is a real anthem.'The devil and me'follows and that has a very southern feel to it as does 'whites ferry' which is trippy and hypnotic.The albums best track could well be 'electric worry' ,hand clapping greatness is evident here and the harmonica and electric organ soar this snappy number to the heights of brilliance.'When vegans attack' is also a straight from the start masterpiece that will not be ignored. and throughout the twelve tracks here,there is nothing really to bore or outstay its welcome,clutch are now playing the music that they were born to play,free from expectation and big record label pressure ,this is also a 4.5 out of 5 album,rock on baby.
on 9 March 2015
Bought this for Electric Worry after hearing it a few times on Planetrock - wasn't too sure about the rest of it at first but found that it is a grower and now like the whole thing