Clutch, Never Got Caught pull into HeadlinersWritten by Mighty Wyte (Matt Feher) | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is one band that encapsulates all that is American, all that is rock and all that is grizzly, it’s safe to say Clutch is that band. A decade-plus of epic, monstrous vocals over brilliantly constructed instrumental pieces has earned the Maryland-based group a massive cult following, as well as a decent amount of commercial success.
Clutch’s success hasn’t had a negative influence on what makes it the best damn American rock band still touring — authenticity. Singer Neil Fallon’s vocals are ridiculous. The man has grit, classically raw talent and punch. Lyrically his intelligence is hard to match. Everything from history to religion is exploited, wordplay is dominant and comedy is woven into untouchable songs that become lodged into the listener’s head.
Guitarist Tim Sult and bassist Dan Maines just brutalize the blues. To take such simple note and chord progressions and mold such memorable melodies and riffs out of them is nothing short of genius. Clutch doesn’t worry about over-the-top scale runs or any other sort of window dressing, its too busy kickin’ you in the face with some of the hardest rock you’ll ever hear without traipsing into the realm of metal.
How do you classify Clutch — hard rock or something else?
“I can see why people call us ‘Stoner Rock’, what other genre would you put us under?” Sult said during a recent interview. “I think of it more as just hard rock. Early influences for me ranged from Zepplin and Deep Purple to Iron Maiden.”
Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster is amazing to listen to and watch. His style is fluid, controlled and automatic. It appears as though he doesn’t think about what he’s playing, he just plays.
With nearly a dozen albums released to date, and the recent release of a brand new DVD “Clutch Live @ The 9:30,” Clutch shows no sign of slowing down.
“We’re planning on hitting the studio this January to work on the 10th album, and by far this will be the best Clutch album yet,” Sult said.
Members of Clutch are in several other working bands making noise, making waves and selling tickets. Playing with Clutch June 6 is Lionize, Sult’s rock/reggae hybrid band and The Bakerton Group, the instrumental-only “alter ego” of Clutch. In short, the members of Clutch will be playing damn-near all night in one form or fashion.
“Headliners shows are always awesome” Sult, said, and this show will be no exception.
If you know Clutch, I will see you at Headliners on June 6. If before now you were unfamiliar with Clutch, you’re welcome! Tickets for the Clutch, Lionize, The Bakerton Group and Never Got Caught show are $20 in advance, $24 night of the show. Tickets can be purchased from Culture Clash and Ramalama Records, or any Ticketmaster outlet. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Never Got Caught brings ‘good time’ to Headliners
Rock solid. Of course the term means different things to different people and is open to interpretation. However, when referring to the band Never Got Caught, it is the most elemental description. On June 6, Boston-based rockers NGC will play a wickedly energetic and purely fun show at Headliners. Made up of four “average Joes” with above-average talent, NGC is writing, recording and performing tunes that rock without over-the-top production. Keeping it simple keeps it feeling real.
Brothers Bryan and Bill Hinkley (guitar/vocals and drums respectively) spent a considerable amount of time as the two-piece rock (hardcore) band known as Tree. After the addition of bassist Paul Dallaire, Never Got Caught was born. As a three-piece, NGC toured regionally and recorded a handful of albums. Most recently and perhaps most notably, “Creepshow” was recorded and released this past year.
NGC just “wants to rock, have a good time, play the music as well as we can without taking ourselves too seriously” said front man Bryan Hinkley in a recent interview.
“A lot of the material is written individually, then we get together as a band and decide what to keep, what to toss and how to arrange the track,” Hinkley said. This writing formula produces material that is easy on the ears without sounding tired or flat. Hinkley’s vocals combined with ubiquitous blues-based rock riffs create something of a “new” classic rock sound. Rock fans will find their material catchy and straight addictive.
With the addition of Dave Ward on guitars and backup vocals, Hinkley said the shows and the music have been taken “up to another level.”
“Our shows are a good time, party kinda thing; we want the fans to walk away feeling they didn’t waste 30 minutes of their time,” he said.
NGC creates an intoxicating tonal quality with thick guitars, drum beats that are amazingly simple but potent and vocals that are gritty and full of emotion. Jack White comes to mind when listening to Bryan sing, and guitar tones and riffs harken to the likes of Clutch and CKY. On percussion, Bill Hinkley lays down bulletproof (some would call classic) rock beats, free from fills or anything resembling blast-beats.
Comparisons of sound serve only as a reference at this point. NGC is an original rock four-piece that packs quite a punch for an unsigned, day job-holding group of working class guys. People who enjoy ground-up rock need to catch NGC this weekend.
NGC will play with The Bakerton Group, Lionize and Clutch on June 6 at Headliners. Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 the night of the show and can be purchased at Culture Clash or Ramalama Records, or any Ticketmaster outlet.