Book of Bad De­ci­sions (Weather­maker)

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There are few bands who can get away with 15-track, hour-long al­bums; fu­sion-rock main­stays Clutch, as they prove once more on al­bum #12, are not one of them. In­no­va­tion is lim­ited on the aptly ti­tled Book of Bad De­ci­sions, the band rel­e­gat­ing to tired and corny hard rock tropes that feel both self­satir­i­cal and staunchly de­voted, but wholly em­bar­rass­ing none­the­less. It’s a shame—Tim Sult is re­lent­less with his punchy and pum­melling lead gui­tar work and, given some more in­ter­est­ing tab­la­ture, he could’ve been the record’s sav­ing grace. It’s also strange that Clutch have adorned this al­bum’s cover with a paint­ing of an ea­gle—such a stern and mag­is­te­rial bird is meant to rep­re­sent free­dom, but here, Clutch seem trapped and re­stricted. Sarah Comey

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