Broken hearts, bourbon shots and old Colts with rust near the handles. That’s The Clench on a nutshell. They were in a nutshell but, heck, can’t keep the power of Americana Rock inside a crusty little shell for too long, dig?
The Clench‘s newest album, Walking in the Devil’s tracks has all the cool panache that Americana rock feeds from: reverb, palm mutes, lyrics about broken hearts and maybe riding a Red Shark down a sundried highway, any highway… Route 66, with its mystique and gilla monsters; the Baja Highway where the ocean meets the high cliffs and the abandoned Hollywood props litter Rosarito…
It’s the sounds of a roadtrip. One you take by yourself, where you ponder about the year ending (being topical, sorry) or simply to run away from something. You could also be riding shotgun with your fellow cuatreros, sipping a couple of cheap lagers and wonderin’ how much you can stretch your dubious cash (‘Whiskey tremolo’).
It’s rock and roll, but sometimes it takes its time to let you drench into the tremolo heavy atmosphere (‘Disco Mariachi’) before taking you down to the nearest speakeasy, where a wrong word can get you into a heap of trouble (‘Rusty blade’ – the soundtrack of a thousand bar fights in my head).
The ups and downs of love fuel these songs. Probably more the downs than anything else; there is no lovey dovey celebration of an engagement movin’ forward, just the sad realisation you are missing a kidney, have a bottle shaped wound in your head (‘Roadhouse’) and your bag of money (are you talkin’ pesos?) is now on a bus to Tijuana (‘Cross the borderline’ – a slow getaway song if you ask me).
Ok, maybe there are reasons to forget about the down and out of love blues. Maybe you can go back to That Healing Place where friends and family await for you. A conversation will lift yours spirits, a couple of brews will numb the pain and a night out (with a probable sleepover at the Drunk Tank) can also help cleanse those blues (‘Gotcho disease’ – Yeeeehaw!).
It’s probably the cliché on my current style of reviewing, but there’s always a song that stands above the others. Not because the other songs are weaker or bad, but because of the careful craft devoted to the track. Of course, this track for The Clench is ‘Act of vengeance’. Let’s forget about the silly analogies about modern day soul-searchin’ therapy and let’s go for a Weird Western. Final shootout, tension dripping and oozing through every single piece of wood in a town forgotten by law. Slowly smouldering while our Unnamed Antihero struts slowly before pulling an ol’ six barrel and shootin’ his way out of it. Nothing remains after the hail of bullets and last breathes of air have given into silence. Dead, warm air whistling through, tumbleweed hopscotchin’ the bodies of a myriad of no-name extras.
Walking in the Devil’s tracks is a fantastic slice of Americana Rock. Simply can’t go wrong with it.