Really, this could be a three-word review. For anyone who has ever heard them, or experienced their live show, all I’d really have to say here is “Dude, it’s Clutch,” and it would justify their being Disc Of The Week.
Robot Hive/Exodus is the latest in Clutch’s long string of stellar releases. The most notable change this time around is a return to the relatively raw production style of Jam Room or Pure Rock Fury, as opposed to the smoothedout, refined sound they had for records like Elephant Riders or 2004’s awe-inspiring Blast Tyrant.
Also notable in terms of changes is the inclusion of Hammond organ throughout the record, which is used to flesh out Clutch’s already mighty grooves. Sometimes it sounds a little like the stranger in the room, but it’s never out of place, and when the band jams it fits right in to the point where you wonder why it hasn’t been there all along.
Of course, Neil Fallon’s lyrics are the usual hodgepodge of historical references, inside jokes, mythological beasts and obscurities. Over the years he’s honed his craft well, and on Robot Hive/ Exodus, he flows freely in top form and should have his audience hitting up the Wikipedia in no time. What the hell is the Sleestak, anyway?
Maybe it’s a bit of regionalism, but Fallon’s lyrical tribute to his Jersey Turnpike commute “Pulaski Skyway” is a particular album highlight. Also, “10001110101” and “Never Be Moved” are not to be missed. Actually, fuck that. All the tracks are not to be missed. Shit, they cover Howlin’ Wolf (“Who’s Been Talkin’,” the last track on the record), what more could you possibly want? This album fucking rules. Go buy it.