Throughout two decades and ten albums, D.C. rock outfit Clutch has evolved into one of the mightiest blues-rock bands around. One of the tangibles that make Clutch stand out is vocalist Neil Fallon, whose lyrical output and delivery at times borders on the edge of both awesomely absurd and absurdly awesome. With the band’s new album Earth Rocker coming out this week, let’s take a moment to revisit our favorite Clutch lyrics.
10. “Walking In The Great Shining Path of the Monster Trucks”(1:13-1:26)
From: Transnational Speedway League (1993)
Sample lyric: Well I rolled Jesse Helms like a cigarette/ And smoked him higher than the highest of the minarets/ Jesse James couldn’t even handle it /
Started looking at me like I was Sanskrit
Analysis: In a song loaded with references to crashing Cadillacs through the gates of hell and a comparison of Evil Knieval to the great scholar Virgil, it is a testament that THIS is the set of lyrics that stand out the most.
9. “The Elephant Riders” (1:21-1:45)
From: The Elephant Riders (1998)
Sample lyric: On our way to Washington where work is done by men with gavels/ I heard a sound that just about removed me from my filly’s saddle/
Just outside of Antietam, where once there was a mighty battle /
I heard the rhythm of the hammers beating the rail lines together
Analysis: History lessons about the Civil War era have never been more badass.
8. “Pure Rock Fury” (0:18-0:42)
From: Pure Rock Fury (2001)
Sample lyric: Hands down the illest ventriloquist this side of the Mississippi River/ That’s right operator smoother than faders on an automated sound board / Andretti’s never raced me but if he wants to oh I’m ready / Coordination of the eye and hand is not my strong point but I make due with what I have
Analysis: We really hope that the ventriloquist brings his dummy to ride shotgun when he gets around to racing Andretti.
7. “Burning Beard” (0:12-0:50)
From: Robot Hive / Exodus (1995)
Sample lyric: Every day I wake up we drink a lot of coffee and watch the CNN/ Every day I wake up to a bowl of clover honey and let the locusts fly in /
Lobsterbacks attack the town again / Wrap all my things in aluminum/ Beams of darkness streak across the sky / Pink rays from the ancient satellite
Analysis: The British have attacked! Of course the proper procedure is to protect all of your belongings from the surveillance satellites.
See also: The Clutch Rocks-Off Boat Cruise
6. “The Face” (1:03 – 1:28)
From: Earth Rocker (2013)
1000 Les Pauls burning in a field/ What rabid religion poisons their minds?/ 1000 jazz masters thrown into the sea/ What measure of madness governs their time?
Analysis: The most poetic telling of the battle between rabid religious fanatics and the music that drives them crazy. Don’t worry folks, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz rise from the depths of their banishment and win in the end.
5. “Animal Farm” (0:26-0:36)
From: Clutch (1995)
Sample lyric: Meanwhile….planes drop from the sky/ People disappear and bullets fly/ Little grey men are coming our way/ (Tastes justs like chicken, they say.)
Analysis: We have been listening to this song for eighteen years, and we still have not figured out if it’s about us saying that the aliens taste just like chicken, or if the aliens are saying that we taste just like chicken.
4. “Big Fat Pig” (1:24 – 1:54)
From: Jam Room (1999)
Sample lyric: I’m opining sailing Simon. Is you stupid or is you just high?/ Mother Hubbard got me covered like Sarah Lee on her cherry pie./ Norman says to Simon, Hey, if there are really aliens/ I would think that L. Ron Hubbard would have to be one of them
Analysis: The time-tested classic tale of what happens when a Mormon named Norman meets a Scientologist named Simon.
3. “Oregon” (3:36-4:05)
From: Slow Hole To China: Rare and Unreleased (2003)
Sample lyric: I fashion my crown from Quetzalcoatl’s quills/Build my palace in the jungles of Brazil/ In the summertime come my children / “For I hail Draco, King of Dragon Men!”
Analysis: If this is what happens every time a dude hooks up with a woman from Oregon, we want to be the ones holding the camera.
2. “Let A Poor Man Be” (1:30-1:52)
From: Strange Cousins From The West (2009)
Sample lyric: I’m gonna build a castle out of Goodyear tires /
Cinderblock and busted doors; that’s where I’ll retire/ Gonna dig a moat. Fill it up with ale / Not much of a defense, I know, but the supply never fails
Analysis: To us, this sounds like a hell of a defense against the influence of the outside world. If you are going to check out completely, you’ve gotta have an ample supply of booze.
1. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw” (0:29-0:43)
From: Clutch (1995)
Sample lyric: You can rock it like Sir Sisyphus/ But even in it’s genesis it’s really quite ridiculous / ‘Lectric hobo, so now you know/ Not to clock the weeble wobble hot rod gang, revelator big bang.
Analysis: Our brain is now broken. Time to stop thinking and just focus on rocking out.
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Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.