Clutch - Blast Tyrant
DRT Entertainment
Stoner/Hard Rock
15 songs (54:31)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

In order to really do justice to classic Clutch releases, you really have to live with them a while. This isn’t because their albums are full of the kind of music that needs repeated listens in order to get to grips with, but simply because it’s hard to believe that the band are so damn good at writing the kind of catchy songs which stick in your head and prove impossible to eject, however much Death Metal you use to try and get them out. That’s not to say that all Clutch albums are the same, far from it. 2007’s From Beale Street To Oblivion accelerated the Blues elements of the band’s sound above others, and whilst you may have a little more Prog influence on 2005’s truly astounding Robot Hive/Exodus, Blast Tyrant is about the groove, that infectious boogie that assaults your ears from the very first note of opening song Mercury, catchy songs that positively demand you get on up and dance.

I’m not sure whether Blast Tyrant (or to give it its full name, Blast Tyrant’s Atlas Of The Invisible World Including Illustrations Of Strange Beasts And Phantasms) is my favourite Clutch album, but it’s certainly a damn good one. The band’s sixth full-length, it was also the first that really made them popular, single The Mob Goes Wild catching many an ear and proving one of Clutch’s most instantaneous tracks. Really, if you wanted the perfect introduction to the band’s uniquely quirky mixture of Blues, Stoner, Hard Rock and Hardcore, then you should look for the amusing video to the track on YouTube or wherever. Few bands can write truly great songs, most content to write just a few good ones over the course of a career, but Clutch seem to consistently manage it multiple times on each album, and The Mob Goes Wild is no exception: big fat riffs, skilful musicianship, interesting lyrics that avoid cliché and put the band’s criticism of government over perfectly well without ranting, not to mention a huge catchy chorus. And all without changing the band’s core sound!

Even on this listen, and I must be in at least triple digits by now, Clutch’s ability to master all never fails to astound, from the laid-back Americana of Regulator, touching on everything from folk to ZZ Top, to the trippy percussion of Worm Drink, to the Funky quirk of Army Of Bono, a piece aimed at interventionist celebrities everywhere, particularly everyone’s favourite U2 vocalist. There isn’t a single bad track on this album, all being the perfect middle point between catchiness and complexity, having the surface glamour to catch anyone’s ear yet the depths that make the songs live up to repeated listens. That spliff-induced cover art fits the music pretty darn well, as although this is nowhere near as self-indulgent as your typical post-Kyuss Stoner band, it retains some of that air of chillness – you could listen to this album alone or blast it at a party, so varied is its appeal yet so excellent its effect. Either way, it’s a certainty that you’ll be blasting it; living up to their album titles has never been a challenge for the band that released Pure Rock Fury and Jam Room, and Blast Tyrant demands to be played at high volume whether you’re in your car, house, on your goat or flying your jumbo jet.

I generally hesitate to throw ecstatic praise around, but Clutch have proved themselves to be long-term dwellers in the tent of those few modern Rock bands that deserve it. Far above the Nicklebacks and Paramores of this world Clutch stride, having blazed their own path since 1990 and sure to continue doing so until the members are grey and old. If you’re new to the band and can appreciate Rock music that’s heavier, more complex, more original and simply more damn kickass than what gets played on the radio then you owe it to yourself to get ahold of some Clutch, and this is a great place to start. Ultimately, this band needs no better introduction than to start listening, and you'll kick yourself in the end for having read this to the last few words rather than sticking the album on again.

Killing Songs :
Profits Of Doom, The Mob Goes Wild, Cypress Grove, Subtle Hustle, Ghost
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Clutch that we have reviewed:
Clutch - Book of Bad Decisions reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Clutch - Earth Rocker reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Clutch - Robot Hive / Exodus reviewed by Goat and quoted 94 / 100
Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Clutch - From Beale Street To Oblivion reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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