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June 22, 2024

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Robot Hive/Exodus (DRT)

By: Mike SOS

The veritable rock machine known as Clutch returns with ROBOT HIVE/ EXODUS, an album brimming with experimentation, even by Clutch?s usual high standards. Flipping the knobs on the dial a few notches, this 14-track adventure contains all of the left of center nuances that made this band an underground hit, only now the funky heaviness and off the cuff song topics are accentuated by the use of full-time keyboards. This quirky addition to the already impenetrable arsenal gives off a sound that spotlights Clutch?s always apparent but never fully realized bluesy/gospel roots with the unmistakable charm of a traveling riverside preacher. Songs like "10001110101" and "Never Be Moved" keep the boogie down beat in check while Neil Fallon?s daft vocals and twisted lyrics only add to the frolicking feel. Clutch hasn?t forgotten how to rock though, as "Burning Beard" and "Mice and Gods" aptly display the band?s muscle in fine form. Yet, it?s the diversions in the overall sound of the band are the most jarring and most enjoyable, as the laid back groove of "Land of Pleasant Living" and the authentic cover of Howlin? Wolf?s "Who?s Been Talking?" keep Clutch?s reputation of being the most unorthodox metal band in the land firmly intact.

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