"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Clutch - "Earth Rocker" (CD)

Clutch - "Earth Rocker" CD cover image

"Earth Rocker" track listing:

1. Earth Rocker
2. Crucial Velocity
3. Mr. Freedom
4. D.C. Sound Attack!
5. Unto The Breach
6. Gone Cold
7. The Face
8. Book, Saddle & Go
9. Cyborg Bette
10. Oh, Isabella
11. The Wolfman Kindly Requests ...

Reviewed by on July 16, 2014

"Clutch's 'Earth Rocker' is a hard one to recommend to anyone but fans of the band."

On one hand, it'd be easy to praise Clutch for creating an album full of straight ahead rockers along the lines of what their recent tourmates Motorhead and Thin Lizzy cranked out on a regular basis back in the day. Unfortunately, "Earth Rocker," despite some excellent heavy hooks here and there, ends up coming off as both overly long and surprisingly lightweight.

The band does itself no favors starting out with the silly bravado of the title track. Granted, Tim Sult and Neil Fallon's guitark work is good, but the silly lyrics and Fallon's unconvincing delivery send it soaring into Spinal Tap territory.

Still, there's more right than wrong here, with "Mr. Freedom" serving as an amusingly accurate indictment of the flag lapel pin and bumper sticker crowd. A kick-ass riff and hooky chorus don't hurt either.

Also standing out for praise is the harmonica-laced "D.C. Sound Attack!" Sure, the lyrics go into some strange places, but that "hellhound on your trail" keeps things grounded. "The Face," with its Sabbath-style sludginess is also a keeper.

That said, the album also has its share of dead weight. Stuff like "Crucial Velocity" and especially the goofy "Cyborg Bette" just don't work nearly as well as the aforementioned tracks.

Clutch's "Earth Rocker" is a hard one to recommend to anyone but fans of the band. Yeah, there's some solid rock to be had here, but plenty of filler as well.

Highs: "The Face" and "Mr. Freedom."

Lows: Too many filler tracks and a fair amount of lyrical silliness.

Bottom line: More good rock than bad to be had here, but it's too long and a little lightweight.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)