30 songs in 30 days: #19 – “The Promoter (of Earthbound Causes)” (Clutch)

Day 19: A song from your favorite album

I said at the beginning of this series that, because some categories would be difficult to decide on, I would choose certain songs in order to maintain an element of diversity in the list. “Favorite album” is definitely one of those difficult choices. There are several albums that I can listen to beginning to end, like Everclear’s Sparkle and Fade or the Spin Doctors’ Pocketful of Kryptonite. But for the sake of genre variety, I won’t go with another ‘90s alternative/grunge selection. I’m picking a song from a straight-up hard rock band that my SO introduced me to—“The Promoter (of Earthbound Causes)” off Clutch’s Blast Tyrant. Clutch has been described as one of the hardest-working bands in the rock genre, and I’m inclined to agree. They write new material seemingly nonstop, putting out album after album of quality, no-frills, back-to-basics Rock ‘N’ Roll, and they tour relentlessly around the globe. I’ve seen them in concert three times, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Their stage productions are simple and straightforward. Their ferocity never ebbs from open to close. And despite singer Neil Fallon’s lyrics occasionally straying into bragging (which is usually tongue-in-cheek, and which he totally has the right to do, given his work ethic, talent, and success), they all seem like no-nonsense, down-to-earth, and all-around good guys. No egos, no drama. Just. Plain. Rock.

Though not the first of their material I heard, 2004’s Blast Tyrant quickly became my favorite of their albums and the standard to which I hold all their other work. It marks a shift in production of their records, slicker, tighter, and more polished than anything preceding it, but the band seems to have kicked their intensity up a few notches to counter the shininess of the sound quality. The southern rock and blues influences so prevalent throughout their catalog peak in tracks like “Cypress Grove,” “The Regulator,” “The Ghost,” and “(In the Wake of) The Swollen Goat.” But as always, they play with other genres too, like punk on “The Mob Goes Wild” and “Spleen Merchant,” sludge on “Profits of Doom,” and pure heavy metal on the opener “Mercury.” No cross-genre influences stand out on “The Promoter;” rather, I think it’s a good introduction to their overall style—just plain rock. So give it and the rest of Blast Tyrant a spin, and then explore the rest of their catalog—from their raw and varied early albums like Elephant Riders, through the NOLA-inspired From Beale Street to Oblivion, to their latest efforts, the hard-charging and barbecue-fueled Earth Rocker and Psychic Warfare.

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