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Clutch at Bunbury - Reading along with the Book of Bad Decisions

“Hands up. Who wants to rock?”

When: Sunday, June 2, at 6:30pm on the Sawyer Point Stage

My love for and appreciation of Clutch goes back a couple of decades now. My introduction to the band was their second self-titled full-length. It’s this weird, sprawling kind of sci-fi-esque epic that defines easy categorization, but boy, oh boy, does it rock. And, really, that’s probably the best way to describe their entire oeuvre. Ostensibly a “rock” band, they dive head first into blues, southern rock, metal (both heavy, sludge, and thrash), and in an instance of both parody and one upmanship, hip-hop. 

I lived in Chicago for a short period and was able to catch Clutch live for the first time at a House of Blues, in the midst of a snowstorm that shut down the city. They were on the verge of releasing the first version of Slow Hole to China(which would eventually be scrapped, turned into the absolute monster of an album, Pure Rock Fury, then resurrected as a b-side album several years later), and I was one of maybe 75 people in a 750+ cap room. That particular show is seared into my memory, and really set the tone for how much I would truly grow to love and appreciate one of the biggest, most inventive and consistently great rock bands that no one’s really heard of.

Clutch recently released their latest, Book of Bad Decisions, last year, and it continues their career-long streak of doing whatever the hell they want and making it work. Crunchy guitar riffs, funky bass lines, off-kilter drums, and esoteric, heady, and humorous lyrics abound. Even if they lean more into their newer output, fans and those simply wandering the stages of Bunbury are in for a treat. They’re helping to wind down the whole weekend, but it’s hard to imagine their set being any less energetic, maybe even manic, because of that. Set an alarm, make sure you’re at the Sawyer Point Stage, and get ready to rock. And I mean, really, truly rock.

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