Someday they'll discover it's not your environment at all, but a biochemical switch in the brain that determines whether you're into stoner metal or the metal generally preferred by beer-swilling, hat-wearing types. If the members of Clutch do wear hats, they're probably those trucker caps that say things like "John Deere," and they're definitely not backward. The Maryland sludge-rock quartet started in the early '90s and was scooped up by Columbia in the wake of Korn and the Deftones, but never broke through to a larger audience. The band plays something like AC/DC infused with the torpor of The Melvins and a dash of Faith No More funk, while singer Neil Fallon struts and growls over grimy guitar grooves and riffs big enough to require a fork lift. And while the guitars thunder, Clutch's relatively supple, midtempo throb complements its resin-caked Dazed & Confused ambiance.


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