CLUTCH — Strange Cousins From the West (review)

CLUTCH — Strange Cousins From the West album cover Album · 2009 · Stoner Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Kingcrimsonprog
Clutch’s ninth studio album Strange Cousins From The West is a brilliant release from a consistent and hardworking band who know exactly what they and their fans want, and deliver it well every time with a few new twists to stop it becoming stale.

Strange Cousins From The West opens up with an incredible triple strike of bouncy, catchy rock numbers before slowing down and trying new things. `Abraham Lincoln’ is something of a new territory for the band, a lumbering song full of constant snare drums that perfectly evokes the time period in which the lyrics are set.

The album is absolutely full of creative and fun music, from the twangy opener `Motherless Child,’ to the rocking closer `Sleestak Lightning,’ which is a fantastic new take on their Jam Room track `I Send Pictures.’

Highlights for me include the almost-title-track `Minotaur,’ which sounds like no Clutch track that has come before it and `Freakonomics,’ which almost has the same sort rallying power as the band’s fan favorite `The Mob Goes Wild.’

As always, the lyrics and vocal performance from Clutch’s incomparable front man Neil Falon are phenomenal, taking you down bizarre trains of logic, making poetic statements that genuinely impress you and full of absolutely unique similes. The man has mastered the art of story telling through music in a way few could ever hope to match.

Some Clutch fans don’t like the band after they started modernizing and some don’t like the band after they brought in the blues influences, but if this is the case I’d urge you to give the album a fair few listens and allow it to grow on you. Even if you would prefer a different musical direction, there is no real arguing with J.P’s astounding drumming or Tim Sult’s subtle and precision riffing. Strange Cousin’s is a brilliant quality release for fans, even the production and packaging are amazing, a brilliant warm sound and a creative and interesting jigsaw style box with evocative and interesting imagery.

Overall; the band are all phenomenal musicians, with an utterly unique feel and brilliant chemistry. Strange Cousins From The West harnesses that chemistry really well and is a very strong release from the band, I would even go so far as to say it rates among my personal top three Clutch studio albums.

Ps. Be sure to use your cd on a computer to download the free bonus track `Metro Liner Special,’ which fits perfectly with the rest of the album.
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