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Not Only Nixon Could Go To China...,
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This review is from: Slow Hole to China: Rare & Unreleased (Audio CD)
Unexpectedly superb. I have been a long-time Clutch fan, ever since I witnessed Beavis and Butthead virtually climaxing over the video to `A Shogun Named Marcus' (deservedly so, mind you.) However, the last few keyboards-added records, from `Robot Hive / Exodus' to `Strange Cousins...', have failed to capture my attention in quite the same way as the rest of the back catalogue up to the zenith of `Pure Rock Fury'. That said, for what is ostensibly an odds-and-sods collection, `Slow Hole To China' contains tracks that are the equal of those on any studio album up until that hallowed point. Yup, I said it and I meant it. Tracks like `Rising Son' in particular are as good as anything on any Clutch cd: in fact, this is probably one of THE great Clutch tracks, given an added lift through its explicit referencing of Captain Beyond's `Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air)'. Who knew those guys were an influence? That's some serious 70s cred points for Fallon and co. Of course, that would mean nothing if the song in question wasn't Clutch encapsulated: musically skilful, catchy-yet-complex and lyrically dextrous. And that's just one song... so it goes for the rest of the disc. I swear, Clutch's inspired fusion of American arcana and classical myth remains some of the sharpest and still most under-sung wordplay in modern rock. Simply put, this is a superb record, not just for completists but for anyone who loves the riffs, the passion, the consistency and the all-round genius of these titans. This is emphatically not just a `b-sides' record: if you love Clutch, you'll love this like you loved the eponymous record or `Elephant Riders'. Go consume product... if you adore Clutch for their esotericism, their musical genius and all-round pure rockin' fury, this cd will not disappoint.