Clutch, the irrepressible quartet from Maryland, America have just graced our ears with a new record Sunrise On Slaughter Beach (Weathermarker) – their thirteenth record, coming four years after Book Of Bad Decisions. It is unmistakably a Clutch album, full of hearty riffs and deft turns of phrase, but it is a shorter and more varied one than its predecessor.
Volbeat has shared a new music video for their new song ‘Die To Live’, Both the track and clip features Clutch frontman Neil Fallon, as well as Raynier Jacob Jacildo and Doug Corcoran of JD McPherson’s band. Directed by Adam Rothlein at Ghost Atomic Pictures and taped at Futura Studio in Roslindale, Massachusetts, you can watch it right now! Continue reading
Clutch is currently on tour with Sevendust, having played New York City Friday night. Last night’s show had to be canceled after singer Neil Fallon passed out while enjoying an afternoon walk in Secaucus, New Jersey on Saturday. Continue reading
Death. Taxes. Clutch. That should be the new pecking order of the old adage going forward. The band remains a beacon to disciples of honest rock and roll music, with no pretense. I mean I don’t think this band could act pretentious in any way if you paid them millions of dollars to do it. As one of the most consistent bands of the last musical generation, it’s never really a question of if the new Clutch album will be good, but rather “How good is that new Clutch, bruh?” Their last few efforts have been especially stellar and seemed to be building to something huge. That something is their new release The Book of Bad Decisions (Weathermaker Music).Continue reading
Clutch are starting to fill up their 2018 dance card full of tour dates, and expect to announce their new album soon, which they just completed late last month. The band has announced a string of UK headline tour dates for later this year. All tickets are on sale today at 10 AM local time. The band also offered an update on the new album progress. Continue reading
I’ve not heard much about hard rockers Lionize before tonight, I know they’re signed to Clutch’s Label Weathermaker Music on which they’ve released ‘The Voyage EP’ this year. They’ve been on tour with Clutch a couple of times and include Clutch’s Tim Sult as an occasional guitarist in their line-up. After that basic research I figured it was safe to assume from that they would have a similar sound to Clutch and decided to leave some air of mystery for the actual gig. Continue reading
What year is it again? A new Star Wars movie is about two months away, Iron Maiden has a brand new album out that rules, The Muppet Show has new episodes on TV each week and other amazingness is happening. Somebody pinch me! Or don’t, because I don’t want to wake up if this is a dream. And for the kicker, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity, frequent touring partners for the last 25 years are out on the road together once again. Playing blistering sets each night for droves of fans, neither band competes with the other. Instead they live in their own bubbles of genre defining greatness. C.O.C., now rejoined by Pepper Keenan (Down), are rejuvenated by going down memory lane for a set consisting of songs from classic 90s albums such as Deliverance and Wiseblood (both Columbia). Although they occasionally toss in an 80s crossover classic, one hopes the band hasn’t abandoned its fruitful “COC trio” work they have been doing the last few years completely. Writing for a new COC album is ongoing and a release is expected sometime in 2016. In the meantime Clutch is just crushing on the strength of their bold new album Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker). Led by the indomitable Neil Fallon, the band has mined this new album heavily live, as well as the classics that have made Clutch one of the premier American heavy rock bands going. Captured tonight by Evil Robb Photography at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire, you have one of the strongest bills of no compromise rock and metal heard anywhere this fall.
Most modern music careers go a little bit like this. Write a good (or even great) record. Become popular. Have that “difficult second album” syndrome. Get less popular but retain a fan base. Record a third album that might have an unexpected hit. Record the same album for the rest of your career until everyone gets bored. Split up and then return and do a tour where you play the entirety of your first album because it’s a “masterpiece”. Ho, and indeed, hum.
Thank goodness then for Clutch. Clutch aren’t like most bands. Wait: Clutch are not like any other band. Now into their 20-something year of making smart, intelligent rock music, Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker) is the eleventh studio album from the Maryland, USA residents. Psychic Warfare sees Neil Fallon and Co in the rudest possible health, invigorating and invigorated, creatively refreshed and simply staggering and swaggering.
With their last record, Earth Rocker (also Weathermaker) delivering a veritable feast of passionate, invigorating rock music that proved that straight up rock ‘n’ roll could appeal equally to heart and head, one may have anticipated that Clutch would return with a record that sounded completely different, as has been their wont. Contrarians to the last, Clutch have taken the quality threshold set by Earth Rocker and simply upped the ante. If Earth Rocker set a new high benchmark for the Clutch boys, Psychic Warfare is the call and response that you can only have dreamt of, such is its dynamic power and prowess. In short, it’s utterly brilliant.
Psychic Warfare leaps out of the speakers, hoists you by the throat and never lets up, not for a second; punchier and harder than its predecessor. It’s as if the band has been in the gym for a few months: it’s muscular, tough, ripped. Psychic Warfare sounds like the band are not only content with sounding like Clutch, they are revelling in it. This new album has an immediate, warm sense of familiarity, one that breeds total and utter content.
The spoken word scene setting paranoia of ‘The Affadavit’ gives way to the instant Clutch classic of ‘X-Ray Vision’ which is so infectious it should carry a biohazard warning. The rest of the album just gets better and better. There are more riffs than a guitarists’ convention running throughout: Tim Sult has excelled himself with licks and flourishes that are inspired and imaginative, frenetic and pulsating: just listen to ‘Your Love Is Incarceration’ or ‘Sucker for the Witch’ and you will understand just what I am getting at.
Clutch understand tone and dynamics perhaps better than any band operating today. It’s hardly a surprise that Jean-Paul Gaster is many people’s favourite drummer, such is his ability to bring depth, warmth and structure as well as light and funk to proceedings. In lesser hands, the forcefulness of these songs would feel oppressive, repetitive. In Clutch’s hand’s, these are songs that get in under your skin, make you dance and smile: it is a sheer bloody joy.
Psychic Warfare, like all the best Clutch albums (and, already, it’s amongst the very best of Clutch’s albums) is a record packed full of wizened characters, paranoia, liquor, esoteric cityscapes and name dropping of Stevie Nicks. I have no idea what’s going on in Neil Fallon’s mind but when he produces songs as strong and compelling as this, you cannot help but be drawn into his maelstrom of evocative storytelling. He is a master of American letters; Clutch are a band of sublime brilliance and Psychic Warfare might just be the album you’ve waited all year for.
Long may they reign supreme.
Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:
Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.
Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.
Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.