One of the most anticipated releases of 2013 is finally here! And what a hell of an album it is! Earth Rocker is definitely a return to form even though Clutch has never written a bad album. What I can say is that it is a great improvement from "Strange Cousins From The West" and easily their best album since "Blast Tyrant". These eleven songs are just plain kick ass! Definitely some of the best material Clutch has EVER written. Fact.
The album opens with its title track "Earth Rocker" and we can easily understand that they are not fooling around. Fast pace, heavy hitting riffage and the typical catchy chorus. What is also noticeable straightaway is that the music is less bluesy and more groovy and straightforward ROCK (as the title suggests).
There is lots of energy throughout with a great balance of fast and mid-paced songs. The emphasis is mainly given to the fast paced songs here. If I recall there is only one slow paced song ("Gone Cold") but we will get there in just a second.
We keep being bombarded with great and powerful tracks such as "Crucial Velocity", "DC Sound Attack" (one of my personal favorites due to the brilliant usage of the harmonica and cowbell) and "Unto the Breach" until we get to "Gone Cold". Mood shift. It is a beautiful, dark and simple piece of music that might remind some of Tom Waits. This track is just simply perfection in the form of music.
The tempo rises once again with tracks like "The Face" and "Book, Saddle and Go" and stays that way until "The Wolfman Kindly Requests", the album's closer.
I also have to point out that the production is great and makes the album sound clean and gets the best out of all the instruments.
"Earth Rocker" is yet another great piece of evidence that Clutch are in fact awesome musicians and deserve to be respected in the Rock n' Roll world. It did not disappoint me. It will not disappoint you. One of the top contenders for album of the year 2013. I just want to listen to it over and over again!
Oh, by the way... Mister Neil Fallon - you are one of the best singers around. You proved it once again. There, I said it.