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Strange Cousins from the West
     

Strange Cousins from the West

5.0 1
by Clutch
 

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The first Clutch studio release in over two years, Strange Cousins from the West is their ninth studio effort; their second recorded with producer J. Robbins at his Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, MD; and their first original studio release on their self-owned label, Weathermaker Music. If you're familiar

Overview

The first Clutch studio release in over two years, Strange Cousins from the West is their ninth studio effort; their second recorded with producer J. Robbins at his Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, MD; and their first original studio release on their self-owned label, Weathermaker Music. If you're familiar with Clutch at this point in the band's career (after almost 20 years), there aren't too many surprises; it's another album filled with greasy, bluesy, down-home stoner rock. One slight variation this time around is that keyboardist Mick Schauer isn't on board -- bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, guitarist Tim Sult, and vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon recorded as a four-piece -- and the lack of a Hammond organ and the stripped-down production give the album a rawer, more organic, and more spatial feel. This leaves more room for the beefy bass tone and delirious lyrics ("Anthrax, ham radio...and liquor!") to shine, but because the grooves are a touch slower and more restrained, Strange Cousins from the West is a step down from their last three albums, From Beale Street to Oblivion, Robot Hive: Exodus, and Blast Tyrant. Even if it's a little less lively, it's still pretty typical Clutch: always heavy, always solid, and ideal background music for driving a semi-truck through a swamp.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/14/2009
Label:
Weathermaker Music
UPC:
0896308002088
catalogNumber:
9
Rank:
42475

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Strange Cousins from the West 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
neanderthal78 More than 1 year ago
Man this disk just blows me away. I just picked it up today and I think I'm on my 8th spin. The band has certainly outdone themselves with this release. It's rare to find a disk that doesn't contain one filler track. Strange Cousin's from the West is a simple, back to basics lesson on how music should sound (at least to my ears). Clutch are hard to describe as each album has its own unique flavor. But if I had to give a simple comparison just think of 70's rock mixed with some jazz, blues and lyrics that sound like they could have been penned by either Frank Zappa or Chuck D. Here's a quick summary of each track: 1. Motherless Child- Has a southern rock, blues feel. I'm not sure what I can compare it to. 2. Struck Down- a simple rocker with a catchy chorus and riff. 3. 50,000 Unstoppable Watts- a song that give a nod to pirate radio and fans of Coast to Coast 4. Abraham Lincoln- I love the drums at the beginning. They have a marching into battle feel. This grinding song tells the tale of that good Friday where we lost our 16th President. 5. Minotaur- The bass line reminds of Queen for some reason. It's a good solid rocker and the chorus provides the album with its title. 6. The Amazing Kreskin- It's not about the famous mentalist (or whatever he is called) but it has a prophetic message about pollution and garbage. The lyrics are counterbalanced by a very upbeat flow. 7. Witchdoctor- Man this song has some of my favorite lyrics on the album. "The dough and the dead will both be raised". Just check this one out. 8. Let a Poor Man Be- One of the better songs on this disk. Check out the ending and tell me it doesn't make you want to play air guitar. 9. Freakonomics- This song reminds me of some of their older material but that is a good thing. Just a solid rock song from start to finish. 10. Algo Ha Cambiado- This is a cover of that was originally done by the Argentinian rocker Poppo's Blues. The song is sung in Spanish but you don't need to be fluent in the language to sing along. 11. Sleestak Lighting- A weird song and a great ending to the album. The intro reminds me of Vol 4 era Sabbath. This song could be featured on Monster Quest. Like I said, it's my favorite disk of the year. I can't think of anything that will come close to beating this out.