Clutch Strange Cousins from the West Album Review

Clutch Strange Cousins from the WestClutch is a band from Germantown, Maryland. This bit of information shocked me because I listened to Strange Cousins from the West and thought they were from Alabama. Clutch has a great southern rock meets stoner rock sound.

I am late to the Clutch party since the band has been around since 1991. But in '91, I was a little snot nosed pussy listening to Nirvana. I have grown up since then and my musical taste has expanded for the better. But if Strange Mothers from the East is any indication of how great this band is, then I can easily purchase any of the band's other records and be just as satisfied.

Since I am coming in as a new Clutch listener I don't have the benefit or baggage associated with older fans picking up this record. I don't know what Clutch should sound like only what they do on this record. I am not bringing my thoughts on what a Clutch album should sound like. This is a benefit to the band, who probably has to deal with internet pissants saying this album might not sound like old Clutch. That always seems to be the argument when you have more than three albums under your belt. But like I said, I have no idea what old Clutch sounds like. Enough with the introduction, on with the review.

Strange Cousins from the West is the first album under Clutch's own label Weathermaker Music. The very first song I heard from the band is Motherless Child a really great southern rock tune infusing banjo riffs, heavy metal grooves, and Neil Fallon's whiskey tinged blues vocals. I wasn't really expecting to hear a banjo in a heavy stoner rock song, but there it was, and it was catchy.

The bluesy riffs are unmistakeable in this record. Each song is littered with homages and rips from the blues classics. If blues riffs were semen, I would be the biggest semen swallower on fourth street. I just can't get enough of them. Combine that with crushing bombastic drums and thick bass lines, it is a recipe for sucess in my book.

The band doesn't shy away from their experimentation roots either. Fans of that kind of music will be happy with the band's use of various arrangements and well, of course, that banjo. The lyrics are kick ass too. What is there not to like about songs dealing with Minotaurs, Abraham Lincoln, and The Amazing Kreskin?

If you are a fan of stoner rock, experimentation, and blues, you will enjoy this album. I know I did. Even old school fans of Clutch will enjoy this album. I am still not convinced they are from Maryland though. With that sound, they have to be from the deep south!

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