CLUTCH Book of Bad Decisions Album Review

“Book of Bad Decisions” marks the twelfth chapter in Clutch’s musical journey. This iconic stoner rock band, known for their unique blend of heavy riffs and bluesy vibes, presents an album that’s both a nod to their roots and a daring exploration of new musical territories. Produced by Grammy award-winner Vance Powell, this collection of fifteen tracks showcases Clutch’s evolution while staying true to their distinctive style.

Book of Bad Decisions Album Overview

“Book of Bad Decisions” is a musical odyssey that traverses various styles, creating a sonic landscape that’s both familiar and uncharted. Clutch skillfully blends elements of blues, funk, punk, and metal, making each track a surprising yet fitting addition to the album. While some songs take unexpected twists, others remain classic Clutch, ensuring that both old fans and newcomers find something to savor.

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Track Analysis

The album kicks off with “How to Shake Hands,” a high-energy track that envisions a rock ‘n’ roll presidency. This sets the tone for the diverse journey ahead. “In Walks Barbarella” infuses funk into the mix, while “Vision Quest” takes listeners on a psychedelic ride reminiscent of past masters. “Emily Dickinson” showcases Clutch’s Southern swagger, while “Hot Bottom Feeder” amusingly intertwines blues and culinary delights.

Production and Instrumentation

Grammy-winning producer Vance Powell crafts a rich sonic playground for Clutch’s musical prowess. The instrumentation is crisp, allowing each instrument to shine. The guitars roar with power, the bass provides a solid foundation, and the drums drive the rhythm with precision. The album’s production enhances the listening experience, drawing listeners deeper into Clutch’s world.

Songwriting and Lyrics

Clutch’s songwriting remains a highlight on “Book of Bad Decisions.” Their playful yet profound approach shines through in tracks like “How to Shake Hands,” where political satire meets rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Lyrics on “Gimme the Keys” exude a rebellious spirit, while “A Good Fire” paints vivid imagery of change and transformation. The album’s witty wordplay and storytelling captivate the imagination.

Vocal Performance

Neil Fallon’s vocals are a force of nature, carrying raw emotion and power throughout the album. His distinctive voice weaves seamlessly through different styles, from the commanding delivery in “Gimme the Keys” to the laid-back groove of “In Walks Barbarella.” Fallon’s vocals add depth to the album’s emotional range, keeping listeners engaged from start to finish.

Comparisons and Influences

In a genre populated by notable acts like Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, The Sword, and Red Fang, Clutch stands tall as a pioneer and leader. While influenced by these giants, Clutch carves their own path, infusing their signature style into every track. “Book of Bad Decisions” showcases Clutch’s ability to honor their influences while creating something entirely their own.

Emotional Impact

“Book of Bad Decisions” takes listeners on a rollercoaster of emotions. From the infectious energy of “How to Shake Hands” to the introspective musings of “Emily Dickinson,” each track evokes a unique emotional response. The album’s dynamic range ensures that listeners can headbang one moment and reflect deeply the next.

Target Audience

This album caters to both long-standing Clutch fans and those discovering the band for the first time. The blend of classic Clutch tracks and experimental twists offers a little something for everyone. If you’re a fan of rock that’s unafraid to push boundaries while staying true to its roots, “Book of Bad Decisions” is your ticket to a musical adventure.


While “Book of Bad Decisions” delivers an engaging experience, some might argue that it doesn’t deviate significantly from Clutch’s established style. This might be seen as both a strength and a limitation, depending on one’s perspective.

Personal Insights

“Book of Bad Decisions” is a sonic time capsule that encapsulates Clutch’s journey over the years. As a long-time fan, it’s heartening to hear their evolution while relishing the elements that make Clutch, well, Clutch. The album serves as a reminder that musical innovation can coexist harmoniously with a band’s signature sound.


Clutch’s “Book of Bad Decisions” is a testament to the band’s enduring musical prowess. The album’s diverse styles, classic Clutch tracks, and captivating vocals make it a must-listen for any rock enthusiast. While it may not reinvent the wheel, it showcases Clutch’s mastery of their craft and reaffirms their status as stalwarts of stoner rock. So, buckle up and embark on this exhilarating ride through Clutch’s “Book of Bad Decisions.”

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