With the release of From Beale Street to Oblivion, Maryland-based band Clutch has transformed themselves from once intense and passionate rockers to mellowed, old-time blues writers. There are glimpses of the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s traditional subversive heavy rock riffs, including the tracks â€šÃ„ÃºCanâ€šÃ„Ã´t Stop Progressâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºPower Player.â€šÃ„Ã¹ These tunes display the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s grunge roots and underground influences, portrayed through aggressive vocals and edgier chords.As the album progresses, these tunes are overshadowed by bluesy, southern rock-influenced offerings, â€šÃ„ÃºThe Devil & Meâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºElectric Worry.â€šÃ„Ã¹ While this album certainly proves that Clutchâ€šÃ„Ã´s focus has shifted from aggressive alternative rock to a more sentimental sound, it also displays their diverse ability to explore and incorporate their blues influences into their music. In fact, â€šÃ„ÃºElectric Worry,â€šÃ„Ã¹ with its simple guitar riffs accompanying traditional raw vocals alongside the melodic harmonica, proves to be one of the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s best tunes to date.
There are instances where the band has still been able to maintain its raw, real uncut music and hasnâ€šÃ„Ã´t followed the footsteps of many one time respectable rock acts that have victimized themselves to the overproduced, substance-lacking offerings of recent years. For most fans, it will take a couple listens to adjust and appreciate the new direction the band has gone and the compilation of older, more traditional songs with newer, melodious blues tunes.
The early day Clutch fans will most likely be disappointed with From Beale Street to Oblivion, which strays even farther from the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„Ãºrock furyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ beginnings. Newer listeners, as well as concert-goers, will certainly be intrigued and mesmerized at the delivery of these tunes on the album. From Beale Street to Oblivion, further demonstrates Clutchâ€šÃ„Ã´s musical maturity and creativity, as well as solidifying themselves as one of the most diverse rock outfits of their time.