Forget whatever you thought about Clutch. Earth Rocker crumples up the bad categories that have miscast them for years — stoner rock, post-hardcore, metal, grunge — and leaves no question about what they are: a damn good rock and roll band.
Earth Rocker is a solid, straight-up rock and roll album, exactly what the band had in mind for their tenth studio album, now that their Weathermaker Records label is fully up and running. “It might be the best Clutch album that has ever existed,” says guitarist Tim Sult.
It’s a concise, efficient album. That was the point, says drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. “We really tried to reign in the jam aspect of the band. We like to improvise a lot, but this album, we really wanted stuff mapped out. We wanted to go into the studio fully armed to make a really powerful record.”
“I’m excited about its succinctness, and how balls-to-the-wall it is,” says frontman Neil Fallon. “The length of an LP is optimal for enjoying a body of new music, approximately 40- 45 minutes. There’s something to be said about Side A and Side B. It’s more cinematic, and that was the approach.”
The album began taking shape when Clutch toured with Mötorhead, then Thin Lizzy. Revisiting those two favorite bands, they were able to apply their own experience as musicians to better understand the dynamics of their heroes. “The songwriting process happened around the time of those tours, so that really sank into our writing,” Sult recalls. “Maybe people expected us to go more acoustic or bluesy, but this album definitely showcases a riffs-in-your-face kind of style. These songs ended up being faster and a bit more rocking.”
Clutch are passionate students of rock and roll, and music in general. Gaster’s love of a good shuffle brought that rhythmic approach to nearly half the album. Professor Longhair’s “Bald Head” — notably the loping style of Earl Palmer’s swinging eight notes — was a direct influence on Earth Rocker. So was Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey, also a shuffle monster.
“When you hear a light shuffle, or the brushwork on ‘Gone Cold,’ at first it can be a head- scratcher,” says Fallon. “But when you join in, you will be taken to a place you wouldn’t have gone by yourself.”
Fallon’s reputation as a clever lyricist will likely grow once people hear Earth Rocker. His approach is similar to writing fiction. “You’ve got to do it convincingly. There’s a bit of theater to it, in a way. The four minutes a song is being recorded or performed, I can convince myself that I’m an expert on whatever subject I’m singing about, even if I don’t know exactly what it is.”
“There’s a certain energy to our shows that we’ve had difficulty capturing on tape,” Maines admits. “I think this record comes closer to really capturing that energy of Clutch live. It’s a very balanced album. There’s no B-side material. It’s an album of A-sides. That sounds pretty bold and confident, but that’s the way we feel about Earth Rocker.”
Hot Lunch is a punk ‘n’ roll band from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area that specializes in getting loud, getting weird and getting rad. The quartet’s unique blend of brown-acid skate-rock and wah-fuzz proto-metal was born in the bowels of skatanic rituals, biker beer busts and wizard staff meetings. With a head-bludgeoning sound that refuses to take sides (and showers), Hot Lunch are on a hell-bent mission to create the best party soundtrack in the history of all music. Their self-titled debut album was recorded by Tim Green at Louder Studios and is available on all formats by Who Can You Trust? Records (EU), Tee Pee Records and Burger Records (US).
“A blast of 60’s acid rock seemingly unearthed after decades of rock ‘n’ roll mediocrity necessitated its rebirth” – Thrasher Magazine
“A glorious tangle of sixties style psych, eighties punk rock, hairy fuzzy proto-metal and seriously shredding guitar mastery” – Aquarius Records
“They have distilled the best of garage punk, hesher heaviosity, The Blacks (Sabbath and Flag) and their self-titled LP on Tee Pee Records should be considered required study at your local campuses, skateparks, and dive bars.”
– Steve Turner (Mudhoney)
“Hot Lunch is a daft enough name to get noticed and too great a debut LP to pass un-noticed. Those of you with a perma-jones for true proto-metal of the highly imaginative variety should rush out with the readies, and right now!”
– Julian Cope (Head Heritage)
“Everything about this album screams of the late 60’s/early 70’s right down to the reverb ridden production and amps being pushed so hard you can almost smell the dust burning off the valves.” – Ollie Stygall (The Sleeping Shaman)
Arena Vienna / big hall / adv 23 € / doors 29 € / 19.00