Clutch: Pure Rock Fury. Atlantic Records.

January, 2002

On Pure Rock Fury, Niel Fannon's narratives provide potent commentaries on popular culture, even as he distances Clutch from more explicitly political musicians by remaining cynical and critical, rather than committing to political action: "At times I'm even tempted to seek the advice of Dr. Laura, but I ignore her/So I take a deep breath and count to ten/Aint gonna let it get under my skin." Fannon's lyrics remain deliberately vague regarding what precisely the problems are, and draw from myth, literature, and pop culture as they navigate psychedelic landscapes reminiscent, at times, of songs by Black Sabbath or Monster Magnet. Whether singing road songs such as "Sinkemlow," or the anthemic title track, Fannon emerges as the premier wordsmith of stoner rock on Pure Rock Fury.

At the same time, unrelenting, driving grooves compel the listener effortlessly into Fannon's landscapes as deep, wide-open riffs swagger beneath wailing solos and pounding rhythms, again recalling the specter of Black Sabbath.

If Fannon's lyrics are obscure regarding the problem, one thing is made clear: "Pure rock fury is the ultimate solution." This album delivers on its promise, and then some, as Clutch does what they do best - and perhaps the best they've ever done it.

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