Maryland hard rockers Clutch are, technically, still working 2009's "Strange Cousins From the West" -- the quartet's first album on its own Weathermaker Records label and its highest charting entry on the Billboard 200 (No. 38).
But right now the group members are even more excited about what's coming next.
Bassist Dan Maines reports that Clutch has "finished doing all the tracking" for its next album, "Earth Rocker," which is plans to release in the spring of 2013. "We have 14 songs we've recorded," Maines, 41, says. "Right now the hardest part is waiting to hear the final mixes and then trying to decide if we're going to put all the songs on the record or, if not, which ones are you going to use.
"As far as just listening to the basic stuff, I'm very excited. We really wanted to just write very concise, heavy songs and didn't want to go on too many tangents with this one. We just kept the songs...I don't want to say simple, but maybe a bit more straightforward, and very upbeat. Everything sounds great so far."
Maines says fans will recognize some of the songs -- such as "Crucial Velocity" and "The Wolfman is Coming Out" -- from Clutch's live shows, and he predicts the group will play more of the new material on its latest round of dates.
"We're not afraid to play any of these songs before the record actually comes out," he says. "We actually kind of prefer that. It gives us a chance to work them out for ourselves and also let the fans get some familiarity with the material and give people an idea about what we're doing.
"So I would say with certainty that we're gonna play at least a handful of the songs off the new album at these shows, which is also exciting."
Clutch, Lionize and MonstrO [cq] perform Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Both shows are sold out; tickets from the postponed May 12 show will be honored on Friday. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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