Clutch – Robot Hive-Exodus

   2005 DRT

This was the first of the modern Clutch albums that didn’t blow me away when I first listened to it, simply because after ‘Pure Rock Fury’ and ‘Blast Tyrant’ it had become obvious that Clutch really doesn’t know how to do anything but deliver the goods.  And deliver, they do.

‘The Incomparable Mr. Flannery’ kicks things off with the indelible imprint of a great riff and an opening line that pretty much epitomizes the surreal psyche of lead vocalist and incomprable lyricist Neil Fallon: “First we get some surgery, lose the kids, then our identities…”  Yep, at this point, Clutch has become a world unto themselves, with plenty of room for anyone who wants to join them.

‘Burning Beard’ keeps things rockin’ while ‘Mice and Gods,’ ‘10001110101,’ ‘Circus Maximus,’ and ‘10,000 Witnesses,’ provide some cool highlights on a disc that, once again, is simply one highlight after another.  Take ‘Robot Hive’ and ‘Blast Tyrant,’ put them both on your media player or iPod and hit shuffle play.  It’s as if they’ve hit a creative mother lode.  To have even one album of this quality in your repertoire is an acheivement any band would be proud of.  To have more than that (with no end in sight) is deserving of awe.

Clutch is one of those rare bands where you can just buy their new disc when it comes out and not even worry about whether or not you’re going to like it.  They know what they do best and this is the third of an ongoing streak of four albums jam packed with relentless grooves, memorable riffs and an intelligence that puts these guys in a class by themselves.

Rating:  5 out of 5

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