Clutch’s “Earth Rocker” rumbles and shakes

You’re never too old to rock, as Clutch proves with their tenth studio album “Earth Rocker.” The album is a hydraulic beast that revs the gas pedal and never really lets up. It’s a nice return-to-form for the band, picking up where 2004’s “Blast Tyrant” left off, and to no surprise with both albums are helmed by producer Machine.

Not to say the three albums in between were a letdown in any way, but especially shown on the last release, 2009’s “Strange Cousins from the West,” Clutch had a blues-influenced jam band vibe, a far cry from the low-end driven howls of their earlier releases.

Vocalist Neil Fallon has always had intriguing lyrics involving mythology, literary works and historical references, and his prophetic lyrics continue to thrive on the album. It’s amazing how Clutch can make a foot-stomping rock song that’s littered with “Doctor Who” references, as on “Unto the Breach,” or “Cyborg Bette,” which is a confession for the sexual superiority of an android woman. You would never know since you were banging your head too hard.

The best factor that really keeps the album tight is Jean-Paul Gaster behind the drum kit. His drumming has always been the glue of the band and really keeps the energy up. Check out “Book, Saddle and Go” as a reference point to him being the backbone of the group. The best part is being aware he and the rest of Clutch play from the soul. The slight imperfections are a true sign of a rock band, a production from real people.

Really, all the members here shine. Tim Sult on guitar and Dan Maines on bass play excellent off each other (See “Cyborg Bette”.) Clutch still nod their head to their other elements, such as the harmonica on “D.C. Sound Attack!” that will remind long-time fans of 2007’s “Electric Worry.” The only time Clutch takes the foot off the accelerator and relaxes for a moment is on “Gone Cold,” which isn’t a bad song, but its place smack right in the middle of the record makes it a strange halt.

Final verdict: If you’re looking for a record that’s going to get your feet moving and lyrics with more depth than majority of what makes it to regular rock radio, look no further than “Earth Rocker.” If you’re previously in touch with the group, this one will not disappoint, and first-timers will get a great sense of how the art is perfected. 23 years of tearing up beer-soaked stages gives you the right to pen songs about going big on stage or going home.