After nearly thirteen years of almost non-stop rocking and touring, Clutch has yet to repeat itself. The Maryland-based outfit continues to put out creative, unpredictable music pulling from influences such as Led Zeppelin, the Who, John Coltrane and Chuck D. From the aggro-hop of Transnational Speedway League to the spacey, polyrhythmic and category-defying compositions on 2001's Pure Rock Fury, the quartet has successfully melded disparate styles into a unique, powerful sound that never forsakes subtlety. With each release, the group's compositions have simultaneously become more complex and more urgent. Vocalist Neil Fallon spouts inscrutable lyrics with the passion and perversity of a Southern Baptist satanist, driven to speaking in tongues by the gut-punching guitar work of Tim Sult. Meanwhile, Dan Maines delivers intestine-rattling bass lines, and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster manages to maintain a killer groove while following along in a whole different hymnal. Live shows are legendary for the band's seemingly boundless energy, and dates on the current tour, supporting this year's DRT release, Blast Tyrant, promise at least two hours of music that will span the years and punish the ears. Opening act the Bakerton Group is actually an instrumental Clutch side project, so fans of the ethereal should get their fill, as well.
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