I’m always excited when I can post a review that you can check out live shortly after! Clutch will be playing in New Haven at Toad’s Place this month with Orange Goblin, and you can bet that you’ll hear some gems off their new record, Earth Rocker.
THE RECORD: Clutch- Earth Rocker- 2013 Weathermaker Music
Okay. So Earth Rocker is not much unlike Clutch’s other records. But with a band that’s the epitome of maximum rock and roll, consistency isn’t a bad thing. This record sounds especially tight. It was produced by Machine, who has worked with Clutch in the past on 2004’s Blast Tyrant. He’s also worked with artists ranging from Shootyz Groove to Lamb Of God.
Title track “Earth Rocker” gets things started, but the second track “Crucial Velocity” really exemplifies what to expect on this record. A chorus hook you can yell along with, and plenty of head-banger-worthy riffs. “DC Sound Attack” takes off with that characteristic-Clutch harmonica and keeps it moving with a pounding beat on the bell of the cymbal.
Vocalist Neil Fallon put it best when he described the album’s “LP” length:
“I think there’s something to be said about the fact that you’ve got a side A and side B, and it still translates when you listen to those albums on CD. Whether you’re listening to Paranoid or Dark Side of The Moon, when you listen to the tracks one through ten, there’s a bit of a plot arc. I think we were cognizant of that when we were putting this thing together.”
Since this is an analog beer blog after all, I couldn’t agree more.
I think this is also the coolest album artwork they’ve had on a record as well. With a futuristic-looking totem, it exemplifies that the band is rocking into the future while maintaining their familiar sound.
Clutch and myself both turn 25 this year, and I can only hope that I’ve rocked half as much in my quarter-century of being alive as they have as a band.
THE BREW: Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
This is apparently a Beer Camp beer, and although I wasn’t there this year to give it a run for its money, I have to give these campers props. It’s a super solid IPA. It pours a deep black-brown with a fluffy head. I drank it out of a chalice so I think it looked especially nice, although it looks perfectly fine in a shaker pint too. Black IPAs rock because I often find them to be easy drinking while still maintaining a lot of flavor. With an ABV of around 7%, it’s no session ale, but it’s very certainly a very drinkable bang for your buck.
Although Clutch does in fact have their own beer, I have not tried it yet. So I’ll be pairing it with Sierra Nevada’s newest IPA, Blindfold. It’s dark and can rock with the most metal of us, but it’s got a sweeter, delicious side too that draws you in like Clutch’s harmonica-driven hooks.
If you want a solid IPA, go Sierra Nevada. If you want solid rock and roll, go Clutch.
And as Clutch says, “If you’re gonna do it, do it live!” I think so too, and I’ll be at there show on April 16th. Get your tickets at the Toad’s Place box office or online.