Clutch’s sixth full length studio album `Blast Tyrant,’ (or `Blast Tyrant’s Atlas Of The Invisible World Including Illustrations of Strange Beasts And Phantoms’ to give it the seldom used full title) was released in 2004 and has went on to become one of the public’s favourite albums by the band.
The band are all present in the same line-up that they began their career with; Dan Maines, Tim Sult, J.P Gastor and frontman Neil Fallon. All gifted musicians and unique songwriters, their style of music is something of an oxymoron as the band find themselves making no-frills straight forward rock music in all sorts of round about ways. This, combined with absolutely remarkable lyrics and vocal performances make Clutch an astonishingly enjoyable band to listen to.
In terms of production, Blast Tyrant is perfect and the band have managed to capture the feel of the band’s live power, without sounding too lo-fi, while adding all the studio flourishes without ever sounding overproduced.
Musically; Blast Tyrant is fairly centred on big rock songs especially in the beginning, however there is enough noodley jamming and occasional acoustic moments later on for variety resulting in an album which flows perfectly from beginning to end. Fans who only like the band’s earliest albums may take many listens to acclimatize to it; but for 99% of people Blast Tyrant is an instant classic, that you won’t be able to stop yourself from loving.
Stand out tracks include the absolutely storming `The Mob Goes Wild,’ as well as the atmospheric acoustic `The Regulator,’ and the very heavy and catchy `Promoter (of Earthbound Causes)’
Overall; Transnational Speedway League is probably now the go-to album for Clutch beginners, and if you are new to the band you should pick up a copy without hesitation. The album is instantly likeable; absolutely rock solid, with no weak moments and tonnes of brilliant moments that I highly recommend.
If you can, try and get the newer version of the album which comes with the bonus Basket Of Eggs EP, which features Clutch in a softer and more acoustic mood, featuring softer unreleased tracks, acoustic reworkings of old favourites and live versions of their more acoustic material; a fine addition to an already exceptional album.