Since forming in 1991, eclectic Maryland based hard rockers Clutch have had a steady rise to stardom, creating a strong loyal fan-base of ‘Gearheads’. The band released their first EP Passive Restraints in 1992 and their full debut album Transnational Speedway League in 1993, boasting a heavier sound mixing primitive hardcore punk aggression with sounds of the burgeoning 90s Alternative Metal scene.
By the late 1990s and early 2000s, Clutch were releasing records like 2001s Pure Rock Fury on bigger labels such as Atlantic and Columbia. It was at this point where the band would start to gain critical success, also growing a reputation as a killer live act. This period also saw the band move away from their punk alt/metal roots to embrace other influences such as funk, mixing James Brown drums, bluesy ZZ Top guitars, and singer Neil Fallon’s husky, soulful vocals to form a unbelievably groovy southern-fried boogie rock sound that they’ve stuck with ever since.
Now touring their acclaimed 2018 album Boom of Bad Decisions, Clutch stopped off at the O2 Academy to deliver a killer set. After stellar support sets from Swedish throwback rockers Kamchatka and Graveyard, Clutch hit the stage for an hour of pure groove.
The band tore through classic tracks such as ‘A Shotgun Named Marcus’, ‘D.C Sound Attack‘ and ‘Willie Nelson’, as well as a good chunk of their latest album, going through all the sounds they have explored throughout their near 30-year career. Interestingly, whereas most bands tend to play the same ‘greatest hits’ live, when looking at Clutch’s previous setlists from this same tour, no single set looks anywhere near identical – a testament to how strong the band’s overall catalogue is. However, the only exception to this was the encore, closing out with their almighty boogie rock anthem ‘Electric Worry‘ and their recent rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic song ‘Fortunate Son’.