From Sassafrass's ears to your screen via words: Full Fathom Five by Clutch

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Legal stuff before I begin

Any TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read for those who don't know) will be reported.
This will be my first music review. Ever. So, expect it to be average, horrible or so bad, you would rather listen to the Jonas Brothers being fed into a wood-chipper.
I possess little to no musical taste, as I have been told many times by you lovely people. This is a warning that I have no idea what I'm really talking about.
A small style change may be incorporated due to the type of review I am doing so it may not be similar to my previous reviews.

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Artist: Clutch
Album Title: Full Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings
Genre: Stoner Rock/Blues
Band members: Neil Fallon - Vocals, Guitar and Keyboards
Tim Sult - Guitar
Dan Maines - Bass
Jean-Paul Glaster - Drums

Now, before we begin, I've had this review on my list for a good few months and every time I've had to chose a review to work on, I've put this one at the bottom of my 'To-do' list. The reason for that is, I haven't a clue of how to set out and review an album. So, after much boning up [1] on how to do so by reading various music reviews in The Sun, online and Stranger of Sorts massive library of music reviews, I have decided to take the plunge.

Now, back when I was an Escapist pup, I meet some interesting fellows by the names of Swollen Goat and Last of the Chinchillas. After chatting for a while about random stuff like condiments, napkins and Milla, the actress that plays whats her face from the Resi Evil films, we got onto the discussion of music. And this is where my interest in Clutch was piqued and nurtured by these two guys until that fateful day I bought Full Fathom Five.

Now, Full Fathom Five is a live action album, made up of four different live gigs from all over the world between late 2007 and early 2008, released in September 2008. Now, you can see the potential for a problem straight away. Most live albums I've listened to link the songs together seamlessly to keep the flow going. An album of 15 songs, recorded over 4 different locations has the very strong possibility that the flow between the songs will be disrupted. However, through either editing or pure luck, the flow between all the songs is smooth, with myself finding it hard to pinpoint where a song ends and the other begins. There are a few hiccups here and there, with a couple of songs in the list not syncing up too well but you'll only notice if you're trying to find fault with the album whilst listening to it.

Now, the music quality is very good for a live album. Every instrument can be heard clearly, although the vocals are at times a bit scatty and hard to pick up on, a good example of this being in 10001110101, where Neil, the lead singer, sounds like he's mumbling his words slightly. He doesn't mess up the 10001110101 at all, so he gains more praise for that as well. [2] As this is a live album, nearly all the songs have had instrumental parts inserted into them to prolong them. Thankfully, these have no impact on the songs, apart from extending the length of them, for example Electric Worry here is five minutes and fifty one seconds, while the album version is four minutes and forty four seconds long.

Now, the songs in question on this album are all very good except with one exception. 'One Eye Dollar' is a very poor song to end an album, as it just seems rushed and is a poor way to close an album. It's too short, doesn't really fit well and just generally has the feeling that it's been shoe-horned in, for the sake of not finishing on the amazing 'Electric Worry', which is a very weird decision to make, seeing as it is one of the best songs on this album. My favourite song on the album is, without a shadow of a doubt, 'The Mob Goes Wild'. This song is brilliant, has great lyrics, pops at American politicians which everyone loves to do now and again, references drugs and is just generally very good. If you have to listen to just one song on this album, I'd suggest that one. And maybe Electric Worry.

Now, would I advise you to pick up this album? Yes, yes I would. It's a brilliant piece of work from Clutch and will please your ears in a way most other bands have never pleased your ears before.

Highlights of the album: The Mob Goes Wild, Electric Worry and Cypress Grove.

Lowlights of the album: One Eyed Dollar.

Random fact related to the band: I know someone who kind if looks like Neil, the lead singer. It's awesome.

Sassafrass is thankful to Swollen Goat and Last of the Chinchillas for, well basically using peer pressure to get me to buy this album. I just wish I hadn't had to do other things for them as well...

[1] Heh, up.
[2] He also has an awesome beard.

A pretty darn good review as always, but it doesn't seem quite as review-y as some of your others.
I'm not sure if it's the different media, but you seemed to be voicing your opinion on some of album, which is all well and good, but in some places, I think a little more on each song would have not only made this a slightly more substantial read, but also given it a little bit more professionalism.
Also, in case I haven't made this clear to you yet, I'm being fairly harsh to your reviews and giving you constructive criticisms on how to improve them, simply to raise your standard above other reviews.

You've made me so happy, Sass! I do agree with Sean that it would have been nice to see a little about each individual song, but that may just be the 'OMGMOARCLUTCH' part of my brain. I imagine it's hard to write about music when you're used to games and movies though. Still, a very entertaining review. And I still say Neil sounds drunk on '10001110101'. I wouldn't happen to be the guy who kinda looks like Neil, would I?

ZOHMYGOD Sassafrass isn't doing a videogame/movie you're a SELLOUT! /sarcasm

It's great to see you're doing something new! :D
One Eye Dollar is decent I guess and 10001110101 is horribly hard to remember correctly >_<. But my favourite is a tie between Burning Beard,50,000 Unstoppable Watts,and Electric Worry of course.(Yes I know two of them aren't in the album.)

Great review mate!

Nice review. Now, I love Clutch (just look at ol' Neil over there on my avvy), but I don't really like FF5. I'd rather listen to the studio versions of all the songs - I think this is true for me with pretty much any band or music, really. Actually seeing a band live is awesome (especially Clutch), but not so much for live recordings.

Although I must say, I adore the album artwork you have pictured up there. <3 my FF5 t-shirt.

Sorry, Sass, but I'd much rather listen to the JoBros being fed to a wood chipper than do a lot of stuff, but I still love your review!

Very good job with reviewing music. You could start doing more of it and they'd be just as great as your other reviews.

Never listened much to this band before, but I may just give this a listen now.

The only constructive criticism I could give you here is that I noticed you used the same descriptive terms a few times in a row. Not that bad, but I did notice it though I also know how hard it is to avoid doing so especially when reviewing music, just look at my first (and most likely last) attempt to do so *sadface*

Anywho, keep up the good work Sass!

Pretty good there, a few slight gripes would be that you need more variety with your wording; the biggest example of this is you like to use "now" as a transition a lot. This is fine but having it at the beginning of every paragraph is a bit much. It's nice to see that you're doing it in your own style though.

Clutch have never really been my cup of tea but I am a fan of many of their songs, including the one you put up for us.

first off, you randomly posted clutch and thats how I got to like them, thanks for that. Good review, though I simply prefer studio albums to live and if I was planning on buying more songs i'd stick to studio albums. Any suggestions?

Apart from minor stylistic complaints I'd make for just about anything somebody is reviewing, my biggest critique, as someone who "sort of" reviews music[1], is that I don't really get much of a sense of how this band sounds based on your description of them. You've told us who's in the band, how the live album is put together, the minor foibles and triumphs, but nothing that really gives someone unfamiliar with Clutch (like say... me) anything to assemble an impression of their sound. After reading this I'm as unfamiliar with them as I was when I started, and I couldn't even begin to say if this sounds like something I'd enjoy or not based on how you described it.

Clicking on the embedded YouTube icon would probably dispel that uncertainty, but where's the fun in that?

Edit: Having actually done that now that I'm here at home, I apparently do enjoy it, quite a bit in fact, so I'm glad I came across this review now, whee!

[1] By which I mean I talk about albums and attempt to convince people that they should listen to them, but I don't 'review' them so much because my opinion on their quality is something of a forgone conclusion: If I'm talking about it, I think it's good.

I see you going into the music reviewing business now. Ill have to watch for these reviews.

Pretty good review there Sass. As Stranger said, there are a few gripes with the variety in word choice.
But still, good review.

Demon ID:
first off, you randomly posted clutch and thats how I got to like them, thanks for that. Good review, though I simply prefer studio albums to live and if I was planning on buying more songs i'd stick to studio albums. Any suggestions?

Man, they've got so many albums, and their sounds varies quite a lot between them. Let's see... Their self-titled album is a good start, I guess. That's when they started to change over from their punk/hardcore beginning over to a hard-rock/funk sound. Elephant Riders is another really good album. You could check out their last two, From Beale Street to Oblivion and Strange Cousins from the West for the bluesy style they've adopted recently.

ThaBenMan:

Demon ID:
first off, you randomly posted clutch and thats how I got to like them, thanks for that. Good review, though I simply prefer studio albums to live and if I was planning on buying more songs i'd stick to studio albums. Any suggestions?

Man, they've got so many albums, and their sounds varies quite a lot between them. Let's see... Their self-titled album is a good start, I guess. That's when they started to change over from their punk/hardcore beginning over to a hard-rock/funk sound. Elephant Riders is another really good album. You could check out their last two, From Beale Street to Oblivion and Strange Cousins from the West for the bluesy style they've adopted recently.

wow quite a list, i'll take it all to heart, I should be going to HMV this weekend (by this I really mean going to my local city centre, which includes a hmv). If theirs one of those albums going for a good price i'll buy. Thank you for the information.

Swollen Goat:
-Swollen Snip-
I wouldn't happen to be the guy who kinda looks like Neil, would I?

Yes, yes you would be.
Thanks for the comment and yes, Neil does sound drunk on 10001110101. If he is, he did quite well to actually remember 10001110101 at the time.

Stranger of Sorts:
Electric Snip

...Yeah, I noticed about a second after posting it I did use 'Now' a lot. I'll use a different word then 'Now' next time.

Julianking93:
The Snip Goes Wild

Everyone should listen to Clutch. I was lucky as Goat and Chinchy kept talking about them in FGs and I had to see what the fuss was about. Glad I did now.

And more music reviews will follow.
Just don't expect everyone to be music anyone likes. My music tastes have gotten me a few insults around here. :)

Gildan Bladeborn:
Ship of Snip

Thanks for the comments, I'll try and look into that on later music reviews.
And I've not seen your music reviews around, I'll have to go and look them up.

ThaBenMan:
Cypress Snip

Thanks for the comment. And I tend to enjoy studio albums more then live albums, the only exceptions being Greenday when they played at Milton Keynes ages ago and, of course, this.
Also, are you aware of the Clutch Fan group here?

And to everyone else I haven't quoted, thanks for the comments and criticism.

Julianking93:
Not that bad, but I did notice it though I also know how hard it is to avoid doing so especially when reviewing music, just look at my first (and most likely last) attempt to do so *sadface*

It wasn't all that bad - as album reviews go it provided all the information I'd come to expect. You just had all those run-on sentences, I couldn't simply not point them out after you specifically asked me to read your review, my inner editor wouldn't let me! It was for your own good, really!

You should totally give it another go and just aim for a more conversational style - perhaps try reading what you've composed aloud before posting it, should help you catch awkward phrasing before the judgemental eyes of your internet peers get a crack at it, heh.

Sassafrass:

Gildan Bladeborn:
Ship of Snip

Thanks for the comments, I'll try and look into that on later music reviews.
And I've not seen your music reviews around, I'll have to go and look them up.

That's super easy to do now thanks to Pimppeter's review index; you should get him to add this review too, the music section of the index could do with more fleshing out.

Sassafrass:

ThaBenMan:
Cypress Snip

Thanks for the comment. And I tend to enjoy studio albums more then live albums, the only exceptions being Greenday when they played at Milton Keynes ages ago and, of course, this.
Also, are you aware of the Clutch Fan group here?

(Awesome - very pleased that I got the Cypress Snip, love that song!)

Oh yeah, I'm already a member of the C! fan club. It's great to see all the Clutch love comin' from the Escapist!

 

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