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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 24 November 2015
This is my second Clutch album and it won't be my last. Gosh chaps this is what I call good solid rock. Grrrrrrrrr
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on 22 August 2017
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on 18 March 2013
Earth Rocker is the tenth full-length album from Clutch, the unique American rock band (who's style fits vaguely around the Stoner Rock end of the spectrum without fitting perfectly in). It was produced by Machine and released on Weathermaker Music in 2013.

If you haven't heard Clutch before, but like any sort of Hard Rock or Metal music you should consider checking them out. They are the sort of band that once you hear, you love forever, absolutely consistent in quality and inspiration both live and in the studio. If you even suspect you may like them, I highly recommend that you pursue that interest, you'll probably discover your new favourite band.

Sometimes the band seem like a no-surprises purist rock band, designed for a bar full of working men, but then sometimes they'll break out a metallic edge for a few riffs, sometimes they take a turn into funk, soul or blues territory. It all blends perfectly together, into some of the most memorable and attention grabbing music you're likely to hear. Two of the main adjectives you'll see associate with the band are `personality' and `character.'

Neil Fallon, the band's iconic frontman continues to impress the listener with his dramatic and charismatic vocals, which evoke both a zealous preacher-man and a down-to-earth work colleague at the same time, full of flair and personality, but without feeling like an inaccessible rock star.

The lyrics, always interesting on a Clutch record, are a mixture of moods and tones, from clever and poetic to dumb rock fun, funny, intriguing and insightful, often within a single verse. The album also has a surprisingly political tone in places, balanced of course with things like a song about dumping your Robot-girlfriend for a newer model. As always you'll find little lyrical gems that you just can't wait to tell somebody about.

Clutch aren't just a one-personality band however, each musician is a master of his instrument, there are bass lines and drum fills that will stick in your head for days just as easily as any quirky lyric or memorable vocal hook. Some of J.P Gaster's little touches on the bells or floor tom will bring a smile to your face, and Tim Sult throws in little leads here and there that elevate the songs to new levels. Dan Maines ties it all together masterfully with big grooves and solid clunky drive.

If you are a fan of the band already, you may wonder what direction the band have taken this time around. Is it further down the path of `Pigtown Blues' and `Basket Of Eggs,' is it a return to their earliest Hardcore roots, or is it a radical departure into Lounge Jazz?

The album opens with the storming and bombastic one-two punch of the Title-Track and `Crucial Velocity,' the former sounding like a mixture of `Pure Rock Fury' and `Power Player' and the latter sounding like a vaugue mixture of `Minatour' and `Mercury' without repeating either. It's a solid statement of intent. Together, they set the tone for the whole album quite nicely, that being Clutch's characteristic personality filled music, with a few of the lessons they learned exploring their bluesy latter day albums, added to the top of the bombastic and masterfully produced sound and style of their Blast Tyrant and Robot Hive period. Elsewhere, `Unto The Breach' and `Book, Saddle And Go' keep up that fire and energy.

The band do add some balance with `D.C Sound Attack' which would fit well into either of this album's predecessors, since it containing harmonica, cowbells and a bluesy Five Horse Johnson (a band with whom Clutch frequently collaborate) feel in general, as well as the fine acoustic track `Gone Cold' which is a haunting and hypnotic slow number that provides a great counterpoint to all the fast rock songs.

You could sum it up as being one of Clutch's most direct, fast and hard hitting albums to date, but that would be all ignoring the variety on offer from the acoustic track to the proggy direction at the end of `Oh Isabella.' You could say it's a step away from their bluesy work, but that would be ignoring things like the blues tinge on the fast riff of `Unto The Breach' and the harmonica on `D.C Sound Attack.' You could say it's a return to Robot Hive and Blast Tyrant, but it's a lot shorter and more focused.

Overall, its just a strong set of songs. A damn, damn strong set of songs. Its lean, memorable and there is nothing in the way of filler. It all flows well together, the levels of musicianship are high, it sounds fantastic due to its marvelous production job and it has a lot of character. If you like Clutch already it is a must-have, it's a fresh and vital sounding blast of Clutch doing what they do best with enough of a twist not to sound like they're repeating themselves. If you are new to the band, it would be a great place to start. If you buy this album and love it, all the better, because you've got about two decade's worth of almost flawless back catalogue to fall in love with afterwards.
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on 20 March 2013
It's a great shame that this band aren't larger then what they are. While they have an adoring fanbase and great live shows that always find an audience, you wish more people would make a fuss. Even more so with Earth Rocker, which is after quite a few repeat listens for me one of their finest works, maybe even surpassing Blast Tyrant.

That might be because Earth Rocker is what it says on the cover. Its a straight up "Take no prisoners" rock album that grabs you by the first track, the eponymous Earth Rocker, and the last track The Wolfman Kindly Requests...Every track has its own personality and its own little nuance to keep you going onto the next one. There is no filler here. And I mean that.

I completely recommend Earth Rocker to anyone who likes their rock. I completely recommend it to anyone who listens passively to Clutch without getting too involved or the curious who want to know more. This is contender for Album of The Year.

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on 28 March 2013
It's very rare I write a review, probably a good thing, but sometimes it's important. If you've just been slumped in front of the box watching some soppy git crooning some soppy cover song on x factor, stick this album on and restore your faith in good music.

Clutch are the band that Monster Magnet could have been; actually that's a bit unfair because the gentlemen from Maryland are pretty unique ( and much better) and deserve all the success they get, a proper touring band of great players armed with great riffs, darkness and humour who really mean what they do. Nothing soppy about this stuff, buy this cd (or vinyl!) and stand up for proper music.
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on 21 June 2013
I pretty much love every Clutch album as they're more or less my favourite band so me giving them a 5 star is a bit of a given. However this is great stuff, probably their best since 2004's simply but effective 'Blast Tyrant'. Those underwhelmed by the predominantly slow tempo bluesy 'Strange Cousins of the West' or even the excellent 'Beale Street' can rejoice, Clutch are back doing what they do best. Upbeat, good time, occasionally heavy, almost hardcore riff based rock!! Every song is a rocker and a ripper apart from the melodic 'Gone Cold' which is a welcome break between the non stop riffs being served. The title track, 'Crucial Velocity', 'Cyborg Bette' typify a band that has come out of its mini, mellow midlife crisis and back to their chest beating, hardcore roots. If you like riff based rock, you're gonna love this.
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on 4 February 2014
To state things simply, Earth Rocker, the latest album from the always experimental Clutch, is practically flawless. Throughout the eleven songs on offer here, the band have essentially taken everything they've done previously and distilled it, resulting in the harmonica led stomp-along of D.C. Sound Attack, the take no prisoners, head down, driving rock of Unto the Breach and the reflective, jazzy stylings of Gone Cold, as well as numerous other high points. To pick the best song off the album would be unfair on all the others, as none of them really put a step wrong. Clutch have threatened before to wander aimlessly into the realm of jam band on previous albums, which can be a bit of a chore to listen to at times, but there is no such problem here - these songs are all of a perfect length, at no point feeling like they drag at all. From a band with as many stoner/desert rock leanings as Clutch, that's high praise indeed.

Production on the album is as excellent as you would expect from Clutch, with vocalist Neil Fallon in particular sounding even better than he has before - chances are you're reading this after already having heard him in action, but if you're not, you're in for a real treat. The man has a mighty set of pipes indeed, veering between staccato musical poetry and rich, velvety tones as easily as the rest of us mere mortals blink, and he's truly never been better. As lyrically diverse (to put it mildly) as usual, topics covered on the album range from politics to robotic women, making Fallon come across as some kind of crazed, musically gifted street preacher (the beard helps too, of course). The opening song, Earth Rocker, immediately puts this image across, with Fallon declaring "I'm an earth rocker. Everybody here me now, bwoooohahahahaha." Trust me, that "bwooo..." sound is a lot more crazed sounding on album, words can't really do it justice.

In terms of consistency, nothing else in the Clutch back catalogue really comes close to touching Earth Rocker. I know Clutch are the sort of band that inspire utterly fanatical devotion, so it becomes hard to detach oneself from that to objectively review an album. You find yourself wondering how much of a witch doctor kind of spell might have been cast on you by Fallon and crew, and whether it's impacting on your impartiality. But after one listen, you know you're onto a winner. Easily my own, personal album of the year, it would go on to win album of the year from Metal Hammer magazine (the latter perhaps being more appreciated by the band). A big, stomping, rocking, bluesy melting pot of sound puts Clutch right at the top of the pile and in constant rotation on the stereo. Exceptional stuff.
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on 9 June 2013
I'm not reviewing the music - others have done this and it chugs and charges like a Clutch album should.

The vinyl edition is rather spiffing. Whilst not following the 180g trend, sonically it sounds rather fine (and 45 minutes doesn't need 2 discs). The packaging is awesome - a thick card gatefold sleeve (god I love these), inner sleeve with lyrics, bespoke labels, and unlike some new releases you aren't be robbed for the pleasure.

So vinyl addicts - go buy and enjoy.
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on 30 March 2013
Clutch have been my favourite band for the last couple of years, and I've been collecting their back catalogue for a little while now. I had the same anticipation/anxiety I have before I buy the new album by any band I love. Will it be as good as their previous work!? Will the music be as groovy as ever? Will the lyrics be as quirky, memorable and catchy as ever? Why did I ever doubt Clutch. They, of course, have delivered once again. In my eyes they are the best stright-up rock band on the planet. They hit all the stereotypical rock necessities, huge hooks, rollicking percussion and slick guitar driven songs with catchy as hell lyrics and unbeatable vocal delivery. Plus, I've gotta admit, I love the way they play to rock stereotypes on this, but in their own way.

They have their own inimitable style which makes their albums so memorable, giving listeners genuinely amusing moments alongside the bruising riffs and unforgettable hooks. So, it this as good as their previous efforts? My first impressions were that this was not as strong as Beale Street or Strange Cousins, but I persisted before making this review, and the album has grown on me a lot. The more 'stereotypical' rock approach became more tongue in cheek as I read through the lyrics, and I have to say, this is probably as consistent if not more consistent than the previous two albums. I loved the bluesy style of the previous two LPs, hence why I found the more direct approach offered here initially not as appealing, but I am convinced that this is a great album. As previous reviewers have stated, there's no messing about, the album is about 45 minutes and it is all high quality. Whilst I love their longer albums, such as Blast Tyrant, there is no doubt that with Earth Rocker they have condensed their musical ideas into 11 very strong tracks.

The title track was not an immediate favourite, but I like it a lot now, and Crucial Velocity has me ramping up the speed in my car! (great to listen to, but perhaps not beneficial to my driving). Other favourites at the moment are the ballad 'Gone Cold', the awesome 'The Face', and I'm really digging the break down in 'D.C. Sound Attack!' But it is hard to pick favourites actually, as every song is quality, and will have you tapping your toes and singing along. If you like Clutch then you've got to get this (you probably already have it) but if you are a rock fan at all then you have to get into this band. I'd recommend this to all fans of hard rock. I'm absolutely gutted that I recently missed them live in London, so I need to make sure I catch them when they're next in the UK! Overall: 4.5 star (rounded up cause I love them so damn much).
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on 11 November 2013
Continueing the standard set by 'From Beale St To Oblivion' and 'Robot Hive/Exodus', this is another slice of fantastic blues fused rock. The gravely vocals on Neil Fallon and the fantasic musical back create quite a wall of sound.

A good convergence for those who want to metal but like blues already and vice versa.
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