Clutch is perhaps the most respected active band anywhere close to the Stoner Rock genre today. Sure, there’s Queens of the Stone Age, but Josh Homme has always been too polarizing a figure, and he’s consistently pushed the band further and further outside of the Stoner Rock genre and further onto the dance floor. Monster Magnet continues to push out new material, but they’ve struggled to recapture the spark that made 1998’s Powertrip so irresistible. Fu Manchu is still rotating between the studio and stage as well, but they’ve never managed to catch a wide fanbase in between their chunky riffs.
Clutch brings a certain charm and entertainment factor to each album that’s simply irresistible. And, sure, we’ve spent a lot of time explaining why Clutch isn’t Stoner Rock anymore (at least not since Clutch and The Elephant Riders), but the band’s mark on the Stoner Rock genre is simply unmistakable. Pay close attention, and you’ll see Clutch paraphernalia in plenty of Stoner Rock videos. Just look at the shirt on Babis Papanikolaou, the frontman for Planet of Zeus (a Greek Stoner Rock band) in their music video for “Leftovers”:
Their influence is felt all over. So today we’ve compiled four bands you can check out that sound a good deal like Clutch (but we’ll let you be the ones to decide whether or not they stack up).
Although the band was formed in Hardin County, Ohio, they sound like they just surfaced out of a Mississippi swamp, alligators and water critters in tow. With six members on the roster, Mississippi bones delivers thick slabs of southern rock. Frontman Jared Collins has a slight guttural drawl reminiscent of Neil Fallon, and some of their prophetic lyrics sound like they were taken directly out of a Clutch insert. If you enjoy Neil Fallon’s storytelling and obsession with covert government operations, you’ll love Mississippi Bones’ Radio Free Conspiracy Theory, a delightful record of half faux-conspiracy radio and half high-quality Blues-Stoner-Southern Rock.
Album to Check Out: Tracks (2012)
Standout Track: “Dungeon Hustle”
Sounds Like: Blast Tyrant
One of Clutch’s most popular tracks is “Electric Worry,” which features some of the band’s very best work—across all instruments. Not only are Neil Fallon’s vocals on point, the song also features a drum solo, a guitar solo, and a harmonica solo. That famous harmonica solo was performed on record by Five Horse Johnson’s Eric Oblander. Another Ohio-based band (this time from Toledo), Five Horse Johnson adds a heavy dose of Blues to its Stoner Rock.
Album to Check Out: Jake Leg Boogie (2017)
Standout Track: “Daddy Was a Gun”
Sounds Like: From Beale Street to Oblivion
Lionize’s unique blend of Blues, Rock, Reggae was enough to win them the rights to tour with Clutch a few years ago, and the members of both bands are now buds. Neil Fallon offered his voice for “Mummies Wrapped in Money,” and Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster pounded away for their “Panic Attack” EP in 2019. Lionize is perhaps the most compelling act on this entire list. Although the Reggae influence may turn some people away, the element keeps the songs fresh and occasionally turns you down an unexpected path. Oh, and if you like Tim Sult’s guitar heroics, you’ll enjoy lead guitarist Nathan Bergman’s work.
Album to Check Out: Destruction Manual (2011)
Standout Track: “You’re Trying to Kill Me”
Sounds Like: Robot Hive/Exodus, Strange Cousins From the West
The Bakerton Group
Yes, The Bakerton Group is a little bit like cheating. The band is essentially the instrumental version of Clutch since it features all the same members with Neil Fallon on rhythm guitar instead of voice. But here’s the thing: The band sounds exactly like Clutch. Listen to The Bakerton Group’s “Peruvian Airspace” next to Clutch’s “Tripping the Alarm” and tell us you don’t notice the similarities.
Album to Check Out: El Rojo (2009)
Standout Track: “The Chancellor”
Sounds Like: From Beale Street to Oblivion, Robot Hive/Exodus