For those not acquainted with the fantastic Clutch, this is an excellent place to begin what will almost certainly become an obsession. This album feels like such an expression of Clutch's soul, via Niel Fallon's unique vocals, Dan Maines's simplistic-yet-powerful bass grooves, Jean-Paul Gaster's pumping-yet-subtle drum lines and Tim Sult's technical-yet-soulful guitars.
Every song earns its place, as the album takes you on a journey through the cult of Clutch. Each passing song, despite being vastly different in sound, is unmistakably Clutch, although this album has a spacey feel that other Clutch albums don't possess. Songs such as the opener Big News I and Spacegrass swirl and dive around you, whilst Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw and the superb I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth are the more straight ahead metal which many would associate the band with.
The undeniable higlight is the jaunty Texan Book Of the Dead, in which Fallon, whose lyrics are, as always, impeccably inventive, sings nursery rhymes and Sha na na's witch doctor in the chorus.
Inspired throughout, this album is a must for any Clutch fans.
Clutch's eponymous, second full length studio album, was the first album by the band to fully sound like Clutch all the way through and is an unquestionable classic record and must have for fans. Released back in 1995, the record picked up some considerable stoner influences to add into the band's sound and has went on to become one of the public's favourite and most celebrated albums by the band.
The band themselves are all gifted musicians and unique songwriters full of weird ideas, with some absolutely remarkable and creative lyrics and vocal performances courtesy of the amazing front man Neil Fallon. Put simply, Clutch are an astonishingly enjoyable band to listen to and the sort of band who put an amused smile on your face as often as they impress you musically.
In terms of production, this self-titled record was a big improvement over their earlier material and the band have managed to capture the feel of the band sound great from beginning to end.
Musically; this is almost a fifty-fifty split between fairly energetic oddball rock songs and impressive, muso-friendly jamming; the sort of hypnotic, use-a-whole-bunch-of-guitar-effects music that Tim Sult is so skilled at making sound like a fun jam rather than a giant extended guitar solo.
Stand out tracks include the absolutely storming `Animal Farm,' which is powerful and rousing, as well as the engaging `I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Booth,' `Texan Book Of The Dead,' and the very heavy and unusual `Tight Like That.'
Overall; this record is an essential Clutch release that no fan should be without an fairly representative of the band and their intentions as a whole. Every Clutch album since has added something new or different to the formula but always held a core set of goalposts based on this record so theoretically, if you like anything else the band have done, you'll like this.
This album may be considered an uncertain pleasure. It is, on one hand, one of only ten cd s I might pause to rescue if my house were on fire. On the other, the fact that there are only ten might indicate how rarely anything approaches true brilliance, and though half of this album might be considered soaring, raucous, balls-out emotional napalm, the other half lumbers like a wounded buffalo. The problem may be that the record is over-polished – whilst later work, e.g. Jam Room, was excitingly unfinished, varied and relaxed, there seems to be a conscious conformity to many of the songs, which cause the record to hang together well, but can also become nagging. All things considered, you gotta buy this album. Play it real loud. Then get your mates to buy it.