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Clutch Jam Room

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01. Who Wants To Rock? MP3 02. Big Fat Pig 03. Going To Market 04. One Eyed Dollar 05. Raised By Horses 06. Bertha's Big Back Yard 07. Gnome Enthusiast 08. Swamp Boot Upside Down 09. Basket Of Eggs 10. Release The Kracken 11. Super Duper 12. Release The Dub
2004 Megaforce Records
Our score 7

by Adam Hellbound
9/1/2004

There is a sense when listening to Clutch that you are privy to some transmission from a world not exactly our own. Consider that, during "Release the Kracken," we are treated to a lecture on Greek legend, an undulating monologue floating atop a tumbling sea of boogie. Cowbells clack in rhythm while an organ catcalls an alien melody, and the story of Perseus and the Gorgon rolls triplingly from the tongue of our narrator, the unmistakable Neil Fallon. The song fades, the orator subsides, coughs, barks "What", then resumes with a half-scat in which we percieve the repetition of the word "smokestack" over a rapping of drums and the squall of proto-jazz guitar soloing. To those unfamiliar with the band -- to those who aren't really paying attention -- Clutch is the noise of a faceless bar band plunking away in some caliginous corner of a dive bar nestled into the corners of the great American wastelands. Listen closer, and details reveal themselves from under low-slung fedoras, war-masks and eyepatches, unshrouding themselves from myth. The songs veer dizzyingly from the smoke-clogged answering machine message rapped out on "Bertha's Big Back Yard" to the the rollicking country of "Gnome Enthusiast;" the rampant psychedelia of Black Sabbath's "Masters of Reality" shambling down roads little more than dust in America's uncharted inner frontier. More than any of their other missives prior to this, "Jam Room" exemplifies Clutch's vector into uncharted terrain, both musically and lyrically; it is this road that would take them completely out of the gravity of the known on the recently issued "Blast Tyrant." Though they don't always hit the mark, that Fallon and company take the risks they do is far more commendable than the endless repetition of so many other bands. The failures here are precious few and fascinating nonetheless. Here, then, is the missing link between the Clutch of yore, whose fascinations were manifold and multifarious but always otherworldly, to the Clutch of today, who shuffle off their fascinations to become them.

10 comments

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dean_ 9/1/2004 10:58:06 PM

Good album, great band.


parker_ 9/2/2004 2:27:11 AM

i forget what album its on but they make reference to a "straightedge style backpack" thats close enough for me. i declare clutch best hardcore band ever.


aneffigy_ 9/2/2004 8:59:21 AM

Parker - the song is "careful with the mic" this album is great, they reference choco tacos, I mean, c'mon. slow hole to china is also a great collection of different clutch songs


deez_nutz_ 9/2/2004 9:33:53 AM

I picked up the original version in Europe back in '99, it's a great album, Clutch always keeps us wanting more, but this review stinks, why don't you try reviewing the cd rather than wearing out your thesaurus.


wiggy_ 9/2/2004 4:20:50 PM

clutch sucks


The REAL Bob Rock_ 9/2/2004 5:17:49 PM

"Hardcore band"? Nigga please, you have no idea of which you speak. Clutch are NOT hardcore.


xannebowmanx_ 9/2/2004 6:24:38 PM

Is this an album review or an assignment for you post grad. English class?


aneffigy_ 9/3/2004 9:12:26 AM

I too have the original release of this, was curious if it's worth to get this one, if it sounds better or the extra tracks are worth it...?


Balding Eagle_ 9/3/2004 10:38:10 AM

step away from the thesaurus


dav_ 10/19/2005 5:14:40 PM

Charming, strange, completely potty. Does anybody know if Spike Milligan was still alive when this was recorded. Did he write Gnome Enthusiast? What an extraordinary band this is. I wouldnt be surprised if the next album had a song called Fan-Dabby-Dozy. Thats the 2006 album Super Oil Jeremiah.