CLUTCH — Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths

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CLUTCH - Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths cover
3.92 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1993

Filed under Stoner Metal
By CLUTCH

Tracklist


1. A Shogun Named Marcus (2:52)
2. El Jefe Speaks (3:49)
3. Binge and Purge (6:29)
4. 12 Ounce Epilogue (2:49)
5. Bacchanal (4:11)
6. Milk of Human Kindness (4:17)
7. Rats (2:45)
8. Earthworm (4:31)
9. Heirloom 13 (5:34)
10. Walking in the Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks (3:43)
11. Effigy (5:09)

Total Time: 46:14

Line-up/Musicians


- Neil Fallon / Vocals
- Tim Sult / Guitar
- Dan Maines / Bass
- Jean-Paul Gaster / Drums

About this release

Label: Eastwest Records
Released: August 17, 1993
Recorded: April 1993
Producer: Steven Haigler

Thanks to UMUR, Unitron for the updates

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CLUTCH ANECDOTES, AND UNDENIABLE TRUTHS TRANSNATIONAL SPEEDWAY LEAGUE: ANTHEMS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Unitron
Before becoming the fun loving blues metal/hard rock poets that Clutch has made themselves, they were a lot sludgier and aggressive, but the band's lengthy titled debut of Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths is still 100% Clutch.

This is some of the most intense and exuberant sludgy sounding metal I've ever heard, with songs like A Shogun Named Marcus and Rats screaming with aggression, speed, and personality. Binge and Purge takes a more doom quality, before having an explosive climax with lines of "Come on motherfucker, come on motherfucker, let's throw down" which may be the most angry the band's ever been. (Though the delivery of "RRRAAAAATTTS" in the aforementioned Rats is pretty balls-out crushing too) Some songs take a more post-hardcore sounding sludge sound, like Earthworm and Heirloom 13, these sound like nothing else the band's done, but fit in well and it's cool hearing Clutch master such a different style.

Clutch are already masters of personality and songwriting, and Neil Fallon already a lyrical wordsmith. He's said in interviews that he writes lyrics for a song and a melody, rather for them to really have to mean anything beyond being a part of the song. Underworld does similar in the techno world, and I love both bands doing it. It brings some of the best and most creative lyrics and songwriting out there. A rampaging opener like A Shogun Named Marcus is made both relentlessly aggressive with the music and a lot of fun with an infectious chorus. The grungy groove of Walking in the Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks is made even better with fantastic lines like "Well I crashed a Cadillac through the Gates Of Hell and returned with a Fistful Of Dollars" and "Jesse James couldn't even handle it, started looking at me like I was Sanskrit". They're a huge inspiration to me as a lyricist.

Despite being different musically and overall more intense, Clutch's debut is still completely a Clutch album. It would just take a bit of a switch in sound to arrive to where they are now, because the band's personality and pure songwriting talent is all here.
UMUR
"Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" is the debut full-length studio album by US hard rock/hardcore act Clutch. The album was released through Eastwest Records in August 1993. The regular version features 11 tracks, but the Japanese version features the bonus track "Apache".

The "Pitchfork (1991)" EP displayed an edgy and aggressive hardcore sound with hard rock leanings. On "Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" the scale has tipped towards a more hard rock oriented sound with occasional hardcore leanings. Some tracks are pretty aggressive and groove oriented, but there is always a bluesy hard rock sensibility to the proceedings. The repeated use of the word "Motherfucker" on "Binge and Purge" did result in the album receiving a parental advisory sticker though, so it´s definitely not a nice and friendly blues rock album.

The musicianship are on a high level. Great powerful singing, organic drumming and bass playing, and some great rocking guitar riffs. The album also features a suiting organic sound production so all in all "Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" is a good quality debut album by Clutch. It´s a bit immature in the songwriting department and it´s obvious that Clutch were still searching for their sound at this point, but that also makes the album an interesting adventurous listen. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.
Kingcrimsonprog
Clutch’s debut full length studio album ‘Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, And Undeniable Truths,’ was released in 1993 as the band began their career with the same line-up that would grace every single release of theirs to date (minus the keyboards) Dan Maines, Tim Sult, J.P Gastor and frontman Neil Fallon are all present on this record, showing flourishes of the incredible band that they would soon become.

Being the band’s early nineties debut, obviously in terms of production it was less polished than any other Clutch release (although songs from this album sound great on their live albums) and in addition to the production; Neil Fallon’s vocal style is almost unrecognisable to his trademark style found on the rest of their albums.

Musically; most of the material on this album was very different to that on subsequent albums as well, there is a more obvious hard-core influence and much less blues and country in the overall sound. Fans who got into the band on more recent albums may out and out dislike the direction here, or take many listens to acclimatize to it.

Stand out tracks include ‘A Shogun Named Marcus,’ and ‘Rats,’ both of which are often played live, as well as ‘Walking In The Great Shining Paths Of Monster Trucks.’

Even though a lot of the music and most of the vocals may be off-putting for newer Clutch fans; Lyrically the album fully formed Clutch stylistically and a lot of the drum fills and the solos here and there help it from sounding like completely different band.

Overall; Transnational Speedway League is definitely not the go-to album for Clutch beginners, and if you are new to the band you should really look elsewhere for a first album. While it is a fair album in its own right, it sounds so different from what the band became that you probably shouldn’t start with it.

If you are an existing fan however and want to hear where the band came from and how they began; while you won’t find yourself listening to it as much as their other albums, there is enough good material to warrant a purchase or curiosity listen. However, definitely try if you like Clutch’s heaviest moments.

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