Clutch are one of the hardest working bands out there.
Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that their work ethics leaves other bands in the shade. Currently, they’re preparing to tour the U.S.A. playing shows with System of a Down, Sevendust, and Incubus. Hopefully, they’ll make their way to Europe and the UK as well! It might only have been three years since Psychic Warfare, but it feels longer for some reason. But there is one thing about Clutch that I really like, they are consistent and the gap between album never as long as it feels.
Book of Bad Decisions is the twelfth studio album from Clutch, due to be released on September 7th, 2018. Clutch worked with producer with Vance Powell at Sputnik Sounds in Nashville, Tennessee on this album. Book of Bad Decisions will be released via their own label, Weathermaker Records. From the outside, Clutch are in a very enviable position. They’re self-sufficient, they’re their own masters and only have to answer to themselves. This is a situation that any musician must surely dream of, to be able to call their own shots and make the music they love.
With Book of Bad Decisions, Clutch do what other bands are afraid to do – keep it simple.
Let me explain – so many bands are all about trying something new and creating something that’ll fit the modern tread. Each time an act strays from their origins too much, things fall apart. Least we forget when Korn went dubstep. With Book of Bad Decisions, Clutch have created a classic stoner/blues rock album, nothing more and nothing less. This is what Clutch excel at, creating kick-ass stoner/blues rock and making it look so easy.
Clutch are at their best when they make the songs sound effortless.
Take “How to Shake Hands” for instance, a song about what it would be like if Clutch came to power. It’s a deeply political song, I love the sarcasm and the sentiment. It’s also one that sounds fantastic when the volume is turned up as loud as possible! Another song which stands out for me is “Vision Quest”, a song which has a Southern boogie piano added to the mix. In the hand of others, it might sound corny. With Clutch, they make it sound natural. It’s as if they’ve always have a keyboard added to every track. “Gimme the Keys” is another stomping song which builds from a slow start that explodes into an awesome stoner boogie. It’s so effective and they make it look so simple.
Coming in at the fifteen track count and around forty-four minutes long, Book of Bad Decisions is not an album that hangs around. With only two tracks breaking the five-minute mark, the rest are short blasts of stoner rock that has been their trademark. Sticking with this style has seen their audience grow and Clutch are masters of their craft. It’s tempting to talk about each number, but I’ll pick a few more. “Emily Dickinson” is a beautiful number, one that I could listen to over and over again. I could equally say the same for the riff monster named “Ghoul Wrangler”. It’s one of their blues numbers which leave me with a mile-wide smile. Every song on Book of Bad Decisions is a little gem, each keeping the world spinning in the right direction. Sometimes that is all you want, sometimes that is all that you need.
Clutch are the modern-day Motörhead, no-one can beat them at their own game.
You couldn’t mistake this for anyone else, they are masters of this genre. Others might imitate them, but no-one comes close to matching their sound. They know exactly what they need to make an album perfect. It’s never too flash, just pure rock fury. And above all, they make it look so easy! That is the hardest part, having the ability to make it look effortless. There is a reason why they can tour the US and sell out shows, why they are in demand as a support act, why they can come over to the UK now and they’d sell out those shows. With Book of Bad Decisions, they have further cemented that reputation of greatness!
It’s a reputation that is justified as well. Book of Bad Decisions is a brilliant record, one that is not a direct follow on from Psychic Warfare, but you can trace the lineage with ease. Book of Bad Decisions will be hailed as one of their best, mark my words here. It’ll receive praise from all corners of the rock community. Are there any issues? Yes, it ends too soon! They have made my end of year album chart interesting. I love this record. To quote “How to Shake Hands”
Owner of more Frank Zappa music than one human needs, two cats and looked after by an Angel, Eddie Carter thinks about music more than a Geordie should. Hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, Eddie spends most of his time surrounded by CD’s and records. He also writes for All The Time I Was Listening to My Own Wall of Sound, his beard is grey and not long enough – also, he wants a pint.