Imagine our solar system as a barnyard dance. You sneak off for a cold beer and you stand there on Pluto, the last planet, as the ritual unfolds before you. A great fire burns from the center. Planets circle the fire, one ring outside the next, nine deep with moons to spare. Solar flares and asteroids pass between the dancers like drunken kids. Distant pulsars roar like warring cousins. You listen and each planet's sound is unique. Some rotate slowly - others are fast. Some drift in harmony and others wage sonic battle. The cosmic rotations emit notes, beats, and songs. Humphrey Bogart's voice booms across deep space: "Stop it, you know what I want to hear." The celestial hoedown is renewed - a new Clutch record is born.
Clutch has officially released six studio records, assorted e.p.s, outtakes, 7-inches, and a live record over its long career, and the band's discography includes hundreds of songs, extends to other projects such as the Bakerton Group, and includes guest appearances on other records, one-off cover songs and side projects, and the thousands of bootlegs that circulate from their live concerts. Clutch is less a band than a vast compendium of styles and experiments. Attentive listeners will sometimes hear Led Zeppelin in their songs and instrumentations, while others will recognize the dynamics of John Coltrane, the eccentricity of Frank Zappa, the blues-soul of Elmore James, or the lyrical invention of Chuck D. But the Clutch sound is never derivative; Clutch is an encyclopedia of musical styles, and they burn every page down into gold. It's sonic alchemy.
The band's most recent studio effort is Blast Tyrant (2004). It is the sixth full-length Clutch record to date. Pre-production was done mostly at drummer Jean Paul Gaster's home
studio in Maryland, while basic tracking was recorded between Water Music and the Machine Shop (Hoboken, N.J). Blast Tyrant is also the band's first album for DRT Records.
Blast Tyrant is the first Clutch studio record since Pure Rock Fury (2001). Dedicated fans will recognize that Blast Tyrant is perhaps closest to continuing the musical precedent set by their self-released fourth album Jam Room (1999). The songs alternate between compact form and elaborate instrumental sections. The songs are also diverse in styles, throwing unexpected beats and melodies at the listener. The record's eccentric full title - Blast Tyrant's Atlas of the Invisible World Including Illustrations of Strange Beasts and Phantasms - sprawls out like the title of their debut full-length, while it's semi-conceptual narrative may remind some of Elephant Riders. But concepts are always loose when it comes to Clutch music. High and low, short and long, city and country, sound waves and light years - Clutch continues to escape definition and comparison.
Blast Tyrant also features new instrumentations, such as acoustic guitars (on 'Ghost' and 'The Regulator'). These can now be added to their musical experiments with astrolabes, go-go beats, cowbells, harmonica, fiddles, alembics, and other strange devices. There are also some keyboard sections on the record, and this marks a return to an instrument that was used to different effect when they last employed it on their second, self-titled
Clutch has passed the three years since their last record where they passed the ten years before that: on the road. Their most recent tours have included Deftones, System of a Down, Biohazard, and Corrosion of Conformity in the U.S., and they toured Japan and Europe with Spiritual Beggars. The list stretches back over the 1990's like a comet's tail: Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Monster Magnet, Prong, Sepultura.
Clutch shows are the stuff of legend and the band has performed everywhere from college bars to sold-out arenas. They continue their proud tradition as a great live act that brings fans of various styles together under a single roof. And their fans return, from one show to the next, and one year to the next, for over one decade, to hear the musical experiment known as Clutch. Twelve years strong, six albums deep, and almost two thousand concerts old, Clutch holds its unique course across the musical universe.