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Slow Hole to China: Rare & Unreleased Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 April 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Weathermaker
  • ASIN: B001W63E04
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is essentially a collection of Clutch's B Sides or songs that don't appear on any of their other albums (bar another version of 'Ship Of Gold' which is on here). For the majority of the songs you have to feel sorry for them as a lot of them are more than good enough to be on the 'proper' albums. They must not have fit into Clutch's grand plan for the particiular album / period that they wrote it. Rising Son, Willie Nelson, Hoodoo Operator, King Of Arizona, Slow Hole To China, Sea Of Destruction are riff heavy Clutch Classics and my highlights of the album.
There also an instrumental cover in 'Equinox' and some very different Clutch songs such as 'Guild Of Mute Assassins' which are different enough to keep longtime fans interested and intrigued too.
Curiously though there are other B-Side songs not featured here such as 'Apache' and 'Big News III', hopefully they'll come to light some other day...
But as far as this album goes if you're a Clutch fan - GET IT! You're very unlikely to regret it. If you're new to Clutch then it's best to try their more celebrated albums such as 'Clutch', 'Elephant Riders' and 'Blast Tyrant,' but this album definetley beats 'Jam Room' as a starting point. A great collection of Clutch songs which somehow manages to be an awesome album as well!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As befits a compilation album, there's a real mixture of songs on here. Clutch have evolved quite a bit over the years so which songs you'll like really depends when you became a fan. Point is though, whichever tunes hit your wavelength will blow you away: when Clutch are good, they're really very, very good indeed. So for me, the highlights are "Nickel Dime", "Sea of Destruction" and in particular "Willie Nelson", which has to be one of the most awesome songs of all time. Honestly, it's well worth the CD price for that alone. But if your tastes are different, no matter, there will still be something on here that you will love. Yeah, it's a patchy album, but buy it anyway. There's something here for any rock or metal fan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hey, you - Clutch fan. You should get this. This is AWESOME. Seriously. Previously only available in the US, from the band's website, Slow Hole to China is chock full of classic Clutch cuts dating back to Elephant Riders-era. Some of these tracks are as good as anything on their nine other 'proper' albums; highlights include 'Guild of Mute Assassins', 'Easy Breeze', 'Nickel Dime' and 'Hoodoo Operator'... in fact, there is not a duff number on here. Regardless of what you think of their more recent stuff, this is guaranteed to get your booty shaking and remind you of why fell in love with the groove-monsters from Maryland in the first place.

Matt Pucci
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Format: Audio CD
Clutch's Slow Hole To China album is a collection of rare and unreleased material and is available in a few versions with slightly different track listings. The original 2003 version, or the remastered 2009 version with three extra tracks, "Hale Bopp Blues" "Ship of Gold (West Virginia)" and "King of Arizona."

As a generalization; Many band's rarities and b-sides albums consist of a collection of songs with wildly fluctuating song writing and production qualities sitting uncomfortably beside each other, with a bad ratio of worthwhile material to poor material. After all, the bands decided not to put it out in the first place for some reason or other.

Slow Hole To China feels much more like a complete studio album than any rarities collection I've ever heard before, with a pretty consistent audio quality and a musical quality up to Clutch's usual, remarkably high standard. The fact that the band still to this day perform a lot of these songs live is testament to their worth; as is the fact that some have found their way onto the band's live albums.

The music ranges from straight forward rockers, to slow burn stoner style numbers, to complex instrumental workouts and the odd acoustic section here or there. Something for fans of all eras of the band.

Highlights include 'Sea Of Destruction,' 'Easy Breeze,' 'Hoodo Operator,' and 'Day Of The Jackalope,' all of which would be more than at home on one of the band's proper studio albums and which would fit perfectly into a live set without seeming out of place.

Overall, Slow Hole To China isn't just for collectors and is not for hardcore fans only. If you like Clutch you should pick up a copy. Slow Hole' is a great collection of eclectic material from various styles but with a feeling of cohesion and unity that is rare among this type of release. I highly recommend it.
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