CLUTCH MAKES A MASTERPIECE WITH THEIR “BOOK OF BAD DECISIONS”
NEW ALBUM DROPS ON SEPTEMBER 7TH – PRE-ORDER HERE
By Cathy Moore of Moore Rock Shots & Reviews
25 years after the release of their debut album, Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths, Clutch has accomplished what I thought was impossible: made a record that is even better than all the others. New instruments woven into the rock vibe. Lyrics that tell compelling and cool stories. Rhythms that grab your soul. It is truly a masterpiece.
Book of Bad Decisions is the 12th album from the four Maryland rockers who have been making incredible music together since they were in high school. With the release date of September 7 just around the corner, Clutch has already released four teaser singles that have fans salivating for the rest of the album.
Having been tagged hard rock, blues rock, southern stoner rock and alternative metal by media and fans across the world it is safe to say one thing…“What you see is what you get” and what you get is a musical force that has been best described as the quintessential American Rock Band. From the first track to the 15th, Clutch’s brilliant musicality shines through again and again.
The first track of Book of Bad Decisions was also the first single released to the world – “Gimme the Keys.” It starts with an almost eerie, electronic intro and then Neil Fallon’s vocals kick in and you almost want to cheer from the excitement. It’s such a strong way to pull listeners into the new album.
The album’s title track is probably my favorite track – although it is really hard to choose just one. “Book of Bad Decisions” has a groove that grabs your gut and vocals that rattle your ribcage. The lyrics paint such vivid images and the music frames it into a work of art.
The second single from the new album, “How to Shake Hands”, traces its lineage back to Ry Cooder and John Lee Hooker via the song “John Lee Hooker for President”. In that song Ry Cooder impersonates JLH giving a stump speech on what will happen when he becomes President. Clutch’s original idea of covering the Ry Cooder song was soon abandoned as vocalist Neil Fallon said he couldn’t do the song justice. Instead, Neil put his own lyrics in the style of Ry Cooder/JLH to a new Clutch song, which ended up becoming the fast-paced “How to Shake Hands”. I don’t know about shaking hands, but you are definitely going to want to shake something when you hear this song.
Track 13, “Hot Bottom Feeder”, was the third single released and it is, in essence, a recipe for Maryland crab cakes set to Clutch’s inimitable style. I absolutely love the guitars in this song. They are just so swampy and smooth. Who knew a recipe song could be so freaking cool?
The most recent single from Book of Bad Decisions, “In Walks Barbarella”, which is two stories, woven into one. An adult man talks to a boy, maybe his son, about events that occurred 20 years ago. Now add visions of Jane Fonda as Barbarella, ray guns, and tractor beams. It’s one of Book of Bad Decisions’ signature songs and it includes a horn section that truly turns this song into weaponized funk.
My other favorite track on Book of Bad Decisions is “Sonic Counselor”. This song is funky fabulousness! The intriguing lyrics with the bluesy rock rhythm made me want to listen to this song over and over just so I could sing along. It’s brilliant…as are all of the other tracks on this album. It is just mind-boggling how good it really is. I can’t wait to catch Clutch live when they are out on tour with Sevendust this fall.
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitars
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums
Dan Maines – Bass
Tim Sult – Guitar
Clutch Tour Dates 2018:
Sunday, 9-16-18 in Chicago, IL at RiotFest **
Tuesday, 9-18-18 in St Paul, MN at Myth Live
Wednesday, 9-19-18 in Kansas City, MO at Uptown Theater
Friday, 9-21-18 in Houston, TX at HOB
Saturday, 9-22-18 in San Antonio, TX at River City Rockfest **
Sunday, 9-23-18 in Dallas, TX at Gas Monkey Live
Tuesday, 9-25-18 in Orlando, FL at House of Blues
Thursday, 9-27-18 in Norfolk, VA at The NorVa
Friday, 9-28-18 in Raleigh, NC at The Ritz
Saturday, 9-29-18 in Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade *
Sunday, 9-30-18 in Louisville, KY at Louder Than Life **
Tuesday, 10-02-18 in Denver, CO at Ogden Theater
Wednesday, 10-03-18 in SLC, UT at The Depot
Friday, 10-05-18 in Boise, ID at Knitting Factory
Saturday, 10-06-18 in Spokane, WA at Knitting Factory
Sunday, 10-07-18 in Seattle, WA at Show SODO
Monday, 10-08-18 in Vancouver, BC at Commodore Ballroom
Tuesday, 10-09-18 in Portland, OR at Roseland Theater
Thursday, 10-11-18 in San Francisco, CA at The Regency Ballroom
Friday, 10-12-18 in Los Angeles, CA at El Rey Theater
Saturday, 10-13-18 in San Bernadino, CA at Glen Helen Amphitheater (w/System Of The Down, Incubus) ***
Sunday, 10-14-18 in San Diego, CA at North Park/Observatory
Monday, 10-15-18 in Tempe, AZ at The Marquee
Wednesday, 10-17-18 in Tulsa, OK at Cain’s Ballroom
Thursday, 10-18-18 in Sauget, IL at Pop’s Nightclub
Friday, 10-19-18 in Grand Rapids, MI at 20 Monroe Live
Saturday, 10-20-18 in Detroit, MI at The Filmore Detroit
Sunday, 10-21-18 in Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE
Tuesday, 10-23-18 in Toronto, ON at Rebel
Thursday, 10-25-18 in Worcester, MA at The Palladium
Friday, 10-26-18 in New York, NY at Irving Plaza
Saturday, 10-27-18 in New York, NY at Irving Plaza
Sunday, 10-28-18 in Philadelphia, PA at Electric Factory
* = no Sevendust
** = festival date / Clutch and festival bill only
*** = date w/ System of a Down / no Sevendust
The band has been releasing weekly videos with some behind the scenes looks at the making of their 12th album. Check them out:
- “Welcome To Nashville” https://youtu.be/uugK109ADe8
- “Clutch: Finding and Working with Producer Vance Powell” https://youtu.be/_YV33kWoTpI
- “Clutch Nashville – Vance Studio Tour Part 1” https://youtu.be/c96-YMFjNPM
- “Clutch Nashville – Vance Studio Tour Part 2” https://youtu.be/jrAbbT0zym8
- “Clutch New Album” https://youtu.be/GuW3d93ZXwA
- “The Live Energy Wire” https://youtu.be/l3k_lGG6-O8
- “Clutch: Making The Sauce” https://youtu.be/9k277QicFy8
- “What’s It About? Gimme The Keys” https://youtu.be/4wLX3J_8pcM
- “Neil’s Spotify Playlist: Gimme The Keys” https://youtu.be/1-agWhoWosk
- “Naming The Album” https://youtu.be/e-yVlO66sRE
- “Stick Notes On Steroids” https://youtu.be/OmSebBf78hY
- “A Long Writing Process” https://youtu.be/-dlSerpula0
- “How To Shake Hands – Neil’s Commentary” https://youtu.be/ZE0cvdk4YWY
- “Tim Sult’s Spotify Playlist: How To Shake Hands” https://youtu.be/vnzwYI6xTXo
Connect with Clutch
Official website: http://pro-rock.com/
Pre-Order “Book of Bad Decisions” – https://www.indiemerch.com/clutch