Clutters make valiant attempt to revive the glory days of garage rock ‘n’ roll
Apparently there aren’t enough hard-rocking bands out there these days. Every week someone else has “saved rock music.” So if you’re looking to become rock’s messiah, forget about it, the position has been filled. Over, and over, and over. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from setting out on a fresh crusade. Some are more well-meaning than others, and the latest of this nature comes from Nashville’s The Clutters by way their new album, T&C.
Don’t come looking for clean guitars or sweet background vocals: everything about this record is harsh. T&C‘s instrumental diversity is crowned by a Farfisa organ played by one of two female bandmates, Ali Tonn, (the other is Stephanie Filippini, The Clutters pounding-proficient drummer). The organ serves to weave texture into the speedy, angst-ridden atmosphere, still, its presence is often only potent enough to count as an attempt at including a sound other than a distortion pedal or crash cymbal.
Ultimately what’s most evident by the end of the record is that, above all, The Clutters love their guitars, and ain’t nobody gon’ get in the way of that, not even their lyrics (if you can make them out). The words and melodies consist of repetitions subtly altered from song to song, which could be said for the guitar riffs, too, except for one or two tracks that stand out from their monochromatic siblings. “When Worlds Divide” has clearly and intentionally been crafted into engaging parts, breaking the onslaught of distorted guitar for a most-welcome organ solo.
Most impressive is the sense one gets that this band is simply doing what it wants to do, and doing it in a city that plays host to lightly fluffed pop and glossy production. The Clutters successfully remind of the ‘good old days’ of rock on this album, but do little more than that.