CLUTCH,with SCRATCHING POST, opening for Corrosion of Conformity at the Opera House, January 17. Tickets: $22.50. Attendance: 400. Rating: NNN
have you ever wondered what became of all the thrash metal and grindcore bands of the last decade? Well, the trend-conscious few that are still on the road have swapped their Marshall stacks for Orange amps and gone stoner rock. For Maryland's Clutch, who've always worn their Sabbath inspiration proudly, dropping the tempo down to a wallow and boosting the thud factor weren't much of a stretch. Neither was adopting a dirtier, rougher image, as demonstrated by bearded shouter Neil Fallon, resplendent in construction-site flannel.
It looked like they had it sorted, but there were signs that even with all the extra time spent in the cloudy company of Sixty Watt Shaman, the stoner conversion hadn't fully taken. Instead of using the guitar for added rhythmic thrust, Clutch axeman Tim Sult -- aka "Timmy Hendrix" -- insisted on wanking out widdly-widdly note flurries that extended the length of each tune to epic proportions.
Toward the end of their set, they finally hauled out the material from their forthcoming Pure Rock Fury album (due out on Atlantic/Warner in March), and the sonic developments of the last two years finally became apparent.
The new jams were harder, tighter and much shorter, but after 50 minutes of tail-chasing nonsense, the annoyed grumbling coming from the leather-jacketed Corrosion of Conformity fans had turned into slurred shouts of, "Get off the fuckin' stage!"