Man, I remember the “70s. How could forget them? Back in the day I saw KISS, grooved out to Zeppelin, checked out some Sabbath. Dude, those were some rockin” times.

Paul Wong
Chris Rock is kinda curious as to why producers only let him play a comedian and not anything else.<br><br>Courtesy of Paramount

OK, so I”m blatantly lying I was still ten years from being conceived. But that doesn”t mean I can”t try and catch a “whiff” of that same “70s era vibe with Clutch, and their new production, Pure Rock Fury. Clutch actually got their act together in the early “90s, but they”ve been drawing comparisons to “70s rock gods Led Zeppelin ever since.

Along with their connections to the kings of the Stairway, Clutch is known for their funk-tinged heavy-metal/hard rock stylings. Heck, they even throw some grunge in there for good measure, just to make sure they cover all the appropriate genres.

Yet Clutch imitates like John Paul Jones instead of the Jimmy Page. You knew he was there, but you forget about him when an awesome Page guitar solo overshadows his bass work. Nevertheless, Clutch has carved out an interesting niche in the metal world, by pairing their metal sensibilities with southern rock and funk.

The most unique element of Clutch is their blending of live material with studio tracks. It”s an interesting technique, adding raw energy and edginess to the production. Check out tracks like “Spacegrass (Live),” “Drinks to the Dead” and “Brazenhead” to see what I”m talking about.

Yet Fury is not a knockout, instead it is more of a mood record the soundtrack for a night of debauchery with its music lurking in the background. What”s not so sweet is the tendency of Clutch to head off on extended jam-sessions.

While most of us agree the jam-session is the staple of any self-respecting psychedelia-influenced band, I don”t think it works as well for metal or hard rock. It”s more of a novelty that wears off after a song or two. Stick with the gristly vocals and power chords and we may just be on to something gentlemen.

Grade: B

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