Review: Robert Winans
Bands try all the time to reinvent themselves to keep atop their genre and stay relevant in the music scene. If a band is starting to lose their edge, they typically try experimenting occasionally going in a different direction stylistically to shake things up. However, in the case of Clutch, it’s a totally different story. These kings of what are lovingly entitled “Stoner Metal” are an ever evolving organism that constantly shifts stylistically. No, I dont mean just album to album, I mean in many cases its even song to song. While Clutch is predominantly known for mixing hard rock with Bluesy quips, referring to their latest work Psychic Warfare as such would be as close to defining it would be like describing Rock and Roll as loud with guitars.
Imagine if Black Sabbath, ZZ Top and Blues Traveler got tossed together with joke laden satire. The end result would be Clutch’s newest album, but I still dont think that could rightly encompass it. Its terribly catchy. The album, which was written in Texas, is pumping full of energy that while occasionally has familiarity with “X-Ray Vision” and “Phoenix”, there are also points where everything sits back and relaxes relinquishing to simple instrumentals on “Doom Saloon” leading into the melodic “Our Lady Of Electric Light”. The Ending track “Son of Virginia” is practically flawless in deep raw blues flirting with just enough country and rock to seem like there is no difference in genres.
This album seems devoted to mashing up blues with classic rock and creating something with such a wide span that sounds like its been refined and cultured for decades. In an age where so many bands are trying so hard to be the next incarnation of their favorite band just copying over what they like, Clutch have a knack for being beautifully undefinable. Its nuances sometimes being so subtle, other times much more obvious that you will have to listen to this album over and over again just to pick up on them all. Fortunately its groove is so earthy that nobody is going to mind coming back to it over and over again. Good luck listening without tapping your foot.
For more on Clutch check out their website www.pro-rock.com