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Wednesday, Jul 22 2009

Maryland-based Clutch is one of the most consistently inventive riff factories in heavy music. Early salvos focused on sludgy, hardcore-fueled ferocity, but the band's sound has evolved to embrace psych, blues, gritty funk, and Southern-rock swagger. Guitarist Tim Sult's crafty six-string pugilism and the brutal grooves of bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster provide the perfect platform for frontman Neil Fallon's Pentecostal fire. Strange Cousins from the West, the band's latest effort, offers more neck-snapping proof of the spot Clutch deserves in hard rock's pantheon of modern greats.

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Dave Pehling


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