Strange Cousins From The West
Maryland's Clutch have never been the most excitable groove/boogie rock outfit. While there are a few full-throttle numbers in their storied catalogue, spanning almost 20 years, they've always preferred to milk a particularly strong riff, providing a sultry atmosphere and feeling over blazing away at the speed of light. Factor in the penchant for jamming until the cows come home and one might call them boogie metal's Grateful Dead, were that not so offensive. Still, even though Clutch generally provide the most no-frills, essentials-only blues metal music on a regularly basis, in the case of Strange Cousins From The West, they've pared things back further. Relying mainly on guitarist Tim Sult's iconic, wah-heavy guitar and singer Neil Fallon's borderline backcountry twang, delivered over simplistic shuffling beats, the album is a feast of basic rhythms and subtleties. It makes for a soothing experience that might not cause one to immediately jump up and sing its praises but after sinking into the grey matter, Strange Cousins From The West surely become one of Clutch's more enduring, unforgettable releases.
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