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Clutch: Strange Cousins From the West

First, kudos to Clutch for coming up with one of the coolest, eco-friendly CD packages I've seen in years. No plastic on this one, save for the disc itself, all housed in a eye catching, pop-up cardboard design with lots of cool artwork and a tiny cork nipple to secure the CD onto. As for the music on their latest Strange Cousins From the West, the boys have once again churned out a tasty brew of groove-laden heavy rock, sort of a head on collision between ZZ Top, Down, and Deep Purple. That's right, Strange Cousins From the West is a bluesy, Southern Rock, stoner, classic rock meltdown, which is basically what you expect from these veterans. Plenty of nimble, often times crunchy riffs here, each tune fairly memorable and rocking, with plenty of toe-tapping melodies and fist pumping qualities. Though many critics are hailing this release as the breakthrough of 2009, I see it as another very solid release from Clutch, yet not that different from their many fine albums that they've spawned upon the public throughout their long career. This is just a band that knows how to deliver solid hard rock, and here you have another damn fine example, but don't expect them to be deviating from their formula one bit.

Tracks such as "50,000 Unstoppable Watts", with its addicting guitar riffs and powerful chorus, to the bluesy, hard rocking anthem "Motherless Child", all the way to the more doomy/stoner dirges such as "Abraham Lincoln" and 'Witchdoctor", instantly raise the hackles and deliver the goods. The more funky, Southern tinged rockers like "Minotaur", "Let a Poor Man Be", and the wonderfully rolicking " Sleestak Lightning" are where this band is really clicking, as they provide perfect soundtracks to your next 'beer & ribs' BBQ party or biker rally.

Strange Cousins From the West is instantly likeable and memorable, though after you make your way through these 11 songs a few times, you'll start to notice that some of the riffs and tempos tend to sound a little similar to each other. Overall, it's a small complaint on what is ultimately a fun album full of rocking songs that deserve more exposure than they will likely get.

Track Listing
1. Motherless Child 4:15
2. Struck Down 4:22
3. 50,000 Unstoppable Watts 4:14
4. Abraham Lincoln 5:58
5. Minotaur 4:51
6. The Amazing Kreskin 4:36
7. Witchdoctor 4:10
8. Let A Poor Man Be 5:30
9. Freakonomics 3:21
10. Aglo Ha Cambiado 4:08
11. Sleestak Lightning 3:47

Added: August 22nd 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2717
Language: english

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