The Indie Equation

The Unholy Marriage of Music and Math.


Equation #38: The Clutters

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The Clutters

If one had a single word to describe The Clutters it would have to be “relentless”. The Nashville anomaly’s second album “Don’t Believe a Word” clocks in at just under 34 minutes and contains 12 separate tracks, but if you’re not checking your watch you’d think you lost a full hour of your life to the constant barrage of KISS influenced garage-spawned rock. It’s not time wasted, nor is it time you’ll want back; you’ll probably want the ringing in your ears to stop though.

I’ve said before that I believe Rock is dead; that once it became a commodity to be traded and marketed by old white guys in suits who don’t listen to music it was already cold as yesterday’s toast and twice as stale. Any band attempting to carry the torch was essentially just hired entertainment at Rock’s unending wake. The Clutters, like nearly all modern rock, fall into this heap, but damn it all if they’re not trying to rattle that corpse. Nearly every mind-mashing second of this album wails with an intensity that reeks of manic desperation and borders on full-on mental collapse. Take the opener “9999 (Ways to Hate Us)” for example: lots of crunch, lots of toms, and a crazy, revolving circus organ riff instantly grab you by the shirt collar and dare you not to watch as the band sonically beat the bejesus out of themselves. It’s the musical equivalent of watching your over-eager drinking buddy with the self-destructive personality climb your neighbor’s trellis without pants after treating himself to a bottle of cheap tequila and a couple of Red Bulls. It’s all about who’s watching, all about the reaction. The Clutters get what they’re after.

From the classic 80s bounce of “Radio” to the nasally Jim Morrison impersonations on “Fire”, The Clutters push forward like they’re running out of time and patience. Each track is short and clean, there’s no time for flashy solos or another stab at the chorus, there’s a lot to get through and you’re gonna sit there and take it all and you’re gonna like it, goddamit.

If there’s one downside to this album it’s that by the end of it all you’re practically begging for a ballad or a waltz or something to take the pressure off, it’s literally skull to the headrest for the entire album. It’s almost too much rocking to take, but that’s probably just how they like it. In your face, in your head and in your pants, The Clutters have their finger on the pulse of Rock, and they’re not ready to call Time of Death.

Puffmagic gives “Don’t Believe a Word” by The Clutters 4 out of 5


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