Earth Rocker is the tenth studio album by American rock band Clutch. It was released on March 15, 2013 by Weathermaker Music. Earth Rocker is the first studio album to be released by Clutch since Strange Cousins from the West in 2009. The album is produced by Machine, who also produced the band's 2004 album Blast Tyrant.
|Studio album by|
|Released||March 15, 2013|
|Genre||Stoner rock, blues rock|
Earth Rocker has been described as heavier and faster than the preceding albums. Drummer J.P. Gaster revealed that this ferocity may be attributed to Clutch's recent touring experience with Motörhead and Thin Lizzy. As Gaster explained,
It was on that tour [with Thin Lizzy] that we realized there was really a lack of just straight up rock and roll records coming out these days. So I think we wanted to make something that was, front to back, a very focused kind of a recording. A very efficient kind of recording. One that had good energy from the very beginning to the end.
Clutch recorded 14 songs, although 11 made it on the album. Neil Fallon expressed the opinion that they were "great songs," but the band was
committed to keeping this record in classic LP length...I think there's something to be said about the fact that you've got a side A and side B, and it still translates when you listen to those albums on CD. Whether you're listening to Paranoid or Dark Side of the Moon, when you listen to the tracks one through ten, there's a bit of a plot arc. I think we were cognizant of that when we were putting this thing together.
Songwriting and RecordingEdit
The band took a different approach to the songwriting for Earth Rocker by engaging in extensive pre-production work to flesh out the songs more fully prior to entering the studio. Dan Maines attributed this to the recording preferences of the producer, Machine, who "likes to have all the material in the bag before he hits record." The band recorded to a click-track at its rehearsal space and then played along in the studio. As Maines explains, "the idea of doing any 'jamming' doesn't enter the picture. Our intent with these songs was to end up with something that had an intense focus of energy; each song needed to be direct with a no frills punch."
This had a cascading effect upon other aspects of the songs, with Tim Sult noting that the approach resulted in additional soloing: "I would've never expected to be playing as many solos on this album, but they definitely had more of a direction than they usually do. It definitely took a lot more concentration, but I walked away from this album liking them more than I have on any other album.
Neil Fallon opined that the planned songwriting approach resulted from a lack of satisfaction with aspects of previous albums:
In the past, we would go into the studio and write. That never worked out to anyone's satisfaction. It was really important to do a lot of pre-production, knowing exactly what we would be doing when we went into the studio. It was crucial that we did all that prior to hitting "record"...it was so mapped out that we weren't even in the studio together. You had to take a lot on faith. But once you know a part inside and out, you can move on to worrying about performance. If you’re trying to remember it, then you’re not playing from the heart - you're playing from the brain. That always sounds stale on playback.
The album met with generally favourable reviews., with About.com comparing it to Blast Tyrant and praising it for "kick(ing) harder than a mule on steroids." Metalinjection described Earth Rocker as "a consistently rocking and rolling beast. On the journey through the world of modern hard-rock, Clutch is like the mad village storyteller. You might not get what he's trying to tell you right away, but after a while you discover he's the one you should have listened to all along." However, Q Magazine criticized the album as being "business as usual" despite being "a little more concise than their usual output."
The album debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and No. 6 on the Top Rock Albums chart, selling 22,000 copies in its first week. The album has sold 80,000 copies in the United States as of September 2015.
All tracks by Clutch
|4.||"D.C. Sound Attack!"||4:37|
|5.||"Unto the Breach"||3:29|
|8.||"Book, Saddle, & Go"||3:43|
|11.||"The Wolf Man Kindly Requests…"||5:02|
2014 Deluxe EditionEdit
A 3-disc deluxe edition of Earth Rocker was released on June 24, 2014 containing; The original album with 2 bonus tracks; A live recording of the album (originally only available on vinyl) on CD; and a Live DVD of the show played at the Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO on November 14, 2013, recorded with 7 cameras in 1080i resolution. It also has new artwork and liner notes.
|5.||"D.C. Sound Attack!"|
|6.||"Unto the Breach"|
|9.||"Book, Saddle, & Go"|
|13.||"The Wolf Man Kindly Requests…"|
- The songs "Night Hag" and "Scavengers" are the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition
|US Billboard 200||15|
|US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)||1|
|US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)||6|
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- "Clutch Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 April 2013.