#1 Clutch - Earth Rocker
Sometimes when I think about end of year stuff I struggle trying to come up with what I enjoyed the most out of that year. Tell you the truth, this wasn't really even in doubt for me. After this came out in March I pretty much knew that nothing will better than this. Before a band's album comes out you always here the cliches "are best album" "our heaviest album" or whatever, we've all read the press releases. We all hear the same shit and how often do we hear something and become disappointed with it (ahem Mr. Mustaine I'm looking at you) where the final product is nothing like it was described in press releases/interviews? This is everything that it was hyped up to be and Clutch absolutely delivers on their promise.
2009's Strange Creatures From the West had it's moments (like all Clutch releases have) but it really felt to me as the weakest link in the Clutch catalog. Apparently having toured w/ Thin Lizzy & Motorhead gave them that much needed kick in the ass to make a kickass rock record. Beginning to end this is an album that hits hard and never lets up, with the exception of Gone Cold which I'll get to later. This is the 1st Clutch album that I didn't have to bother skipping a track or 2 since the s/t album.
Earth Rocker was a perfect song to release as the first single and to put as the first track on the album. This song pretty much sums up what this whole album is about which is just a straight ahead rocking song w/ tons of groove. Crucial Velocity is easily one of the highlights of the album, I haven't heard very many people who love Clutch that don't find this to be one of their favorites on the album, I can only imagine how well it goes over in a live setting. Personally, D.C. Sound Attack is my favorite song on this album, I love the cowbell jam in the middle of the song, its just one of the catchiest numbers they've ever done, for a band like Clutch that has made a career on making alot of catchy songs that is a huge compliment. The only thing I don't like about this is Gone Cold. Alot of people love this song, I don't get it. I get that on an 11 song album you put a slow song in the middle to break it up and allow the listener a break. Lyrically it is dull, I love the almost rubbery sounding bass in the song. Thats cool they want to do an acoustic song but this just doesn't work. Better lyrics and I'm sure I'd love it, I can still listen to it but its just not my favorite. The other highlight of this is Cyborg Bette which is another very uptempo song which talks of girls not treating him well, and robot women and it is lyrically one of my favorite songs Clutch has done. I could really go on about every song on the album but I figured I would try to keep from rambling and just hit the high points.
Thank you Clutch for being one of the few bands who has actually followed through on the pre hype of an album. I feel sorry for Clutch who has to actually follow up this monster of an album.
D.C. Sound Attack