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Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of 2013

Black Bomb A, Olympic (Nantes) 17/11/2006Initially, I was going to limit my best of 2013 list to just my top 10.  My reasoning was to make my list as tight as I could only highlighting the very best of what moved me during the year.  After looking back at how many albums I listened to or was exposed to, that number hovered around 270 albums.  So, I decided to expand my list to the same standard as previous years. Despite increasing my list to 15, it still only highlights about 5% of all the albums that graced my ear drums this year.  So, what I present to you for the year 2013 my top 15, plus five more honorable mentions that will be posted in the vicinity of this list.

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Album Review: Earth Rocker by Clutch

clutchearthrockercoverReally? How does Clutch do it?  For a band I’ve been a rather huge fan since I got my hands on their eponymous titled 2nd album the Maryland quartet has only slightly disappointed me once over the course of another 9 albums (while I dig it enough, I feel that their previous album Strange Cousins from the West, was a drop in overall song quality), various EPs, and a multitude of live records.  I can think of no other band that is able to maintain such a long running, strong consistency to the quality of their music and at the same time keep a consistent style and sound that somehow evolves from record to record (well Opeth maybe, but that is debatable).  And so, here we are at album number ten, and to be honest, I was a little worried that maybe they peaked on From Beale St. to Oblivion and would just churn out good, but not f’n great albums like Strange Cousins… from there on in.  Boy, was I wrong.  The aptly titled Earth Rocker is an absolute beast of an album and serves perfectly as the landmark album number ten from the hard rockers.  Acting almost as a self homage to themselves, Earth Rocker takes the many quirks from all of the bands previous records and rolls them into one big fattie and a side of brews leading to one of Clutch’s absolute strongest records to date.  You’ll find the fat grooves of Elephant Riders, the humor of Pure Rock Fury, the heaviness of Transitional Speedway League and the self titled album, the songwriting strength of Blast Tyrant, the oddness of Robot Hive/Exodus, and the bombast of Beale St.  All with that trademark Appalachian blues sound Clutch has trademarked and performs so well.  If this overly long opening paragraph isn’t enough to convince you to buy Earth Rocker, read on brother (sister), read on.

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