Clutch - 'From Beale Street To Oblivion'
Released through DRT Records on March 27, 2007
Tim Sult - guitars
Jean-Paul Gaster - drums & percussion
Dan Maines - bass
Neil Fallon - vocals & guitar
Mick Schauer - Hammond B, piano & Hohner Clavinet
1.) "You Can't Stop Progress" -The intro to this track consisted of a snare & bass drum pattern. The underlining rhythm guitar riff of the verse consisted of a late sixties rhythm guitar sound. The rhythm guitar arrangement is laced in between the lead vocal lines. There is a rhythm guitar and drum pattern change connecting the verse to the chorus arrangement. In the way Neil sings the title vocal line reminded me of the way Dee Snider sang "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll", released on Twisted Sister's 1983 LP titled, 'You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll'. After the second chorus instead of a guitar solo, there is a very small drum breakdown section. This drum breakdown section runs through the outro.
2.) "Power Prayer" -The rhythm guitar arrangement that opens this short intro section consisted of heavily distorted sixties influenced guitar riffs. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement of the verse as the intro section. As the verse progresses Neil's vocal lines get more intense. There is a small rhythm change underneath the pre-chorus. The main choruses of the song were very laid back in consideration of the intense rhythm guitar riffs. One of the things I liked about the choruses were how the bass line bleed through the musical arrangement. There is a small rhythm change breakdown after the second chorus that leads into the lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo was heavily influenced from early seventies classic rock.
3.) "The Devil & Me" -There is a small drum fill that leads into this intro section. The rhythm guitar riffs of the intro section are very laid back with a seventies feel. Over the top of the rhythm guitar riffs there is a small very abstract sounding keyboard section. The rhythm arrangement change of the verse does not kick-in until the opening lyric line of the first vocal line. Neil's vocals of the verses have a Greg Allman feel to them. The band used the same rhythm riffs for the pre-chorus as the intro section. In doing this this gives the chorus a very laid back sound. You can really hear the Hammond B organ bleeding through the musical arrangement of the chorus. This song from verse to chorus has a very stinking groove!!! I just loved the musical bridge of this track!!! The lead guitar solo was just a little on the short side.
4.) "White's Ferry" -The Hammond B along with the laid back minor blues lead guitar solo of this intro section gives the song a very sixties feel. Because there is no rhythm change the intro section bleeds into the musical pre-verse. Neil's vocal lines of the pre-verse have a very laid back sixties feel. There is a small up-tempo rhythm arrangement change for the first verse. This was connected with a snare drum fill. Underneath the lead vocal lines of the verse is one of the coolest sixties sounding rhythm guitar riffs I believe I have heard in a very long time. The drum line underneath the musical verse was being played with the ride cymbal instead of the hi-hat. This was very unusual! Here is my one and only problem with the song, the best lead guitar solo the band has done is on this song and it was turned down way too much! Outside of that this song was awesome!!! The outro ends in a very cool backwards masking studio effect.
5.) "Child Of The City" -There is a small intro section to this track that consisted of a drum line and studio effect. The rhythm guitar riff that opens the musical verse had an early Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) feel to it. After four quarter-notes the rhythm guitar changes to an almost Deep Purple feel. This rhythm guitar riff is another one the band wrote that had a very cool sound to it. Neil kept the vocal lines very simple letting the rhythm guitar carry the verse. There is a very small rhythm change for the small chorus of the song. The Hammond arrangement of the second verse intensifies the sixties feel the song has. The song goes through several unexpected turns showing the guys songwriting talent. This is another song on the release that, in my opinion was awesome!!!
6.) "Electric Worry" - This first single from the release was premiered on MTV2's 'Headbanger's Ball' on 4/4/2007 and can be viewed at this location (www.mtv2.com/#videos/). Usually, I will disagree with the label on what the first single should have been...NOT THIS TIME!!! All I can say is if you are not a Clutch fan yet you will by the chorus of this track! Awesome, Awesome Awesome!!!
7.) "One Eyed Dollar" - Instead of an intro this track opens with a pre-verse musical arrangement. Musically and vocally the pre-verse is rooted in the rock/blues genre.
8.) "Rapture Of Riddley Walker" -This track consisted of a drum rhythm. The vocal lines of the verse reminded me a lot of older Dr. Hook lyrics. The rhythm guitar effect used for this song was the only effect that could have been used. The rhythm guitar change underneath the chorus was a little more intense then the one used for the verse. There is a small drum rhythm solo connecting the first chorus to the second verse. After the second chorus there was a very abstract sounding breakdown and lead guitar solo. In part the reason the lead guitar solo was abstract sounding is the fact of the specific wah-wah effect used.
9.) "When Vegans Attack" - There is a small minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section. The rhythm guitar arrangements of the musical verse consisted of two different rhythm riffs. In several ways this reminded me of older Malcom and Angus Young. There is a small rhythm guitar change underneath the vocal lines of the musical chorus. The Hammond B of the chorus gives the song a solid blues feel. Musically songs of this type are very fun for a cover bar band to learn and play live. After the second chorus there is a rhythm arrangement change that leads into the lead guitar solo. Much like the rest of the song the lead guitar solo had a very laid back relaxed feel to it. There is a secondary lead guitar solo lick over the top of the outro section.
10.) "Opossum Minister" - This track consisted of an opening sixties style rhythm guitar riff. The band used this same riff for the musical verse. The drum rhythm underneath the verse was mainly done with the tom-toms. Because the drum rhythm was done in the way it was gives the song an abstract syncopated feel. There is a small rhythm guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. All in all a very simple song that shows the band's tightness as a group. There was no lead guitar solo for this song.
11.) "Black Umbrella" -This track opens with a snare drum solo before going intro the Deep Purple feel intro. The underlining musical verse completely blew me away musically. In the way the band recorded this track gives the song the feeling they wrote it on the fly. There is a small lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.
12.) "Mr. Shinny Cadillackness" -The intro to this track consisted of Hammond B, drums and bass. There is a small spoken vocal line over the top of the intro section. The band used the same rhythm of the first verse as the intro section. There is a small rhythm change for the musical chorus. The bass line for this song was very cool. At times the musical arrangement dances on the edge of abstractness.
This will be a essential classic rock release!