Clutch seem to be entering a new golden age and after 2013’s Earth Rocker and 2015’s Psychic Warfare steamrolled us with pure rock fury (sic), it’s time for album number 12 to announce its immediate arrival. And, as expected, Book Of Bad Decisions is a fuckin’ doozy!
Consistent to the point of absurdity, Clutch have never failed to impress but they seem to be entering a phase that plays fast and loose with their core sound, while still maintaining a sense of cohesion. It helps, of course, that the vocals of Neil Fallon are nigh on unmistakable but the entire band are now operating at the highest level, and delivering the kind of songs that kick-out hard while still challenging those brain-cells at every step!
“Spirit Of ’76” may find Clutch in somewhat of a nostalgic mood – recalling the tenderness of youth while channeling Sabbath with a riff that Tony Iommi himself would have killed for during the sessions for Technical Ecstasy – but Clutch are still keeping their eye on the present…..and the state of the nation.
A satirical political swipe at government, you can’t help but wish that Neil Fallon was President of the US of A after hearing “How To Shake Hands”, a track which proves once and for all that no one (and we mean absolutely no one) rocks a room like these Maryland marauders, all the while while taking broad barbed swipes at society’s ills.
It’s not all politics though, with the timeless big-balled boogie of “Gimme The Keys” and “Paper & Strife” swaggering around town with a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a clutch of crisp dollar bills in the other. Always ready to party, Clutch are as infectious as ever but they’ve also maximised the fun factor on Book Of Bad Decisions. Take, for instance, the lunacy of “Hot Bottom Feeder”, a psychedelic wild west jam through the history, recipe and serving suggestion of Maryland Crab Cakes. Inspired and utterly bonkers, this is the kind of track only Clutch can write; you expect it of ’em but it still surprises nonetheless!
With an in-your-face production, Book Of Bad Decisions feels like you’ve fortuitously stumbled across a late-night Clutch rehearsal with the boys operating at 1000%. Immediate, accessible and damn-near perfect, Book Of Bad Decisions is a rapturous reclamation of everything that makes this band so beloved. Where the fuck would we be without them? 9/10
CLUTCH are pleased to announce that The Picturebooks and The Inspector Cluzo will support the band on their upcoming UK headline dates.