Consistency is one of the biggest things about the longevity of an artists career. There is one band in particular that have not only carved out their own path but, have also been one of the most consistent rock bands over the last 20 or so years. That band is Clutch, and just like their name, when it comes to putting out a new album, they always make it count. Their new album, Book of Bad Decisions, continues along that path. This album stands up with other classics in their catalog like their self titled, Blast Tyrant, Pure Rock Fury, Robot Hive/Exodus and Earth Rocker.
Book of Bad Decisions is a real rock album through and through. There is all the elements you’ve grown to love about Clutch over the years like, the stoner rock, bluesy side, psychedelic tinges, metallic parts, and a slew of crunchy riffs and rhythms. One thing about each Clutch album that makes them all unique is the bands ability to explore different tones and styles without it taking over and changing their blueprint. Songs like ” Gimme The Keys,” “Spirit of 76,” “How To Shake Hands,” “In Walks Barbarella,” “Sonic Counselor,” “Ghoul Wrangler,” “Paper and Strife,” are classic Clutch, doing their style to perfection. Other songs like “Vision Quest,” “Emily Dickinson,” “Hot Bottom Feeder,” “H.B. Is In Control,” and “Lorelei,” are great examples of Clutch exploring different avenues but not straying too far that they can’t have it connect back to their sound.
A couple other things about Book of Bad Decisions that are worth noting is how vocalist Neil Fallon’s lyrics resonate. It’s almost as though he’s a new generational beat poet like Allen Ginsberg was in his time. Neil’s lyrics not only paint a picture but the realism in them provide the listener with picturesque vibe while listening. The other thing is the bands choice of producer. Working with Vance Powell (Red Fang, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys) is a very intriguing choice but not surprising given Vance’s love of using vintage equipment. Before working with Vance, Clutch spent time on touring and testing out these songs on audiences. This gave the songs a different life and they sound crisp and raw.
If you’ve never heard Clutch before and Book of Bad Decisions is your first foray into the band, this is one hell of a great place to start. This has all the elements of the band and it’s done in such a way that captures the real essence of a band. Almost 30 years into their career, Clutch show no signs of slowing down or calling it a day. They still seem inspired and with an album like this, there is no stopping them.
Overall Rating: A
Gimme The Keys:
How To Shake Hands:
In Walks Barbarella:
Hot Bottom Feeder: