Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West
Every once in a while you rediscover a band from your past. This happened to me recently with prog metal band Clutch. I honestly had not heard any of their music after the mid-'90s.
Well, the Maryland band recently released their ninth studio album, Strange Cousins From The West, and let me tell you I am blown away. It's amazing the growth and development the band has had in the nearly 15 years since I last paid close attention.
Clutch has always been a little bit distinct from the grungy metal of their day. That didn't prepare me for the in-your-face blues metal assault present on Strange Cousins From The West. From the swamp rock intro of the opener "Motherless Child" you can tell this is not the typical atonal hard rock of the 2000s.
Numbers like "Struck Down", "Let a Poor Man Be", and the driving lead single "50,000 Unstoppable Watts", are dripping with blues influences. Coupled with a heavy bottom end and forceful vocals, Clutch provide a tremendous solution for music fans who don't think The Black Keys are heavy enough.
While most of the songs on the record follow that cue, we do get some that are more murky, with a southern rock influence ("The Amazing Kreskin"), or have a '70s stoner rock appeal ("Witchdoctor").
Strange Cousins From The West is a solid album top to bottom, and an incredible rediscovery for me.
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on 2009-08-05 dscanland Said:
Ah, the mighty Clutch. They just passed through Calgary and I missed the show. Damn. Have to question your "Prog Metal" tag you've given them. I've heard them called a lot of things but never Prog. I tend to think of Clutch as Stoner Rock. Anyway, I can't wait to hear Strange Cousins. A Clutch album is always reason for celebration! Nice review.