Clutch Blast Tyrant

Clutch Blast Tyrant
Maryland’s Clutch are definitely one of the most consistently talented bands in the heavy music biz, and Blast Tyrant (their first for new label DRT after nearly a decade on major labels) is definitely and consistently Clutch: the bizarre rhyme schemes of gravely-voiced crooner Neil Fallon float above their well-worn groove-based funk of Physical Graffiti-era Zeppelin. Opener "Mercury” dunks Greek mythology into Fallon’s multi-hued brew as "Profits Of Doom” and especially "Cypress Grove” emerge as strongly buoyant singles. Fallon introduces "The Mob Goes Wild” like a lounge singer and resonates throughout the tune, log-rolling alongside lumberjack drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist Dan Maines. "The Regulator” lowers the aggro-factor with Sult’s almost Karma To Burn-gone-country acoustics and Fallon’s warm Hammond organ tones. "Army Of Bono” and "Spleen Merchant” are straight-shooters while the liquid beat-box of "(In The Wake Of) The Swollen Goat” will fast become a live crowd pleaser. "Weathermaker” is a brief jammy minute, yet "Ghost” reprises Sult’s acoustics for a sort of hard rock ballad with Fallon’s spectacular tenor, and "(Notes From The Trial Of) La Curandera” packs more organ for the buck. The airy instrumental "Wysiwyg” tops off the record like 2000’s Jam Room, continuing the band’s successful momentum from last year’s dual release of the excellent Live At The Googolplex in-concert document and the Slow Hole To China rarities compilation. Blast Tyrant is not as rock-based and urgent as 2001’s Pure Rock Fury with its hooky choruses and infectious riffage, but Clutch prove once again that, in Fallon’s words, "a little Ritalin goes a long way.” (DRT)