Exposé Online banner

Peter Hammill — Clutch
(Fie! 9127, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Clutch Cover art

You can count on the words to be insightful, sometimes bitter, and never trivial. The music always seems to serve the words, not the other way round. With many songwriters, you find lyrics that only seem to exist because they rhyme with the previous line. For me, that’s one of the main things about Hammill’s work. I got over his distinctive voice, and even learned to like it, though I know many who haven’t. Musically, this is one of Hammill’s more sparse outings, confined largely to voice and acoustic guitar, with some string parts courtesy of Stuart Gordon and flute and sax from David Jackson. The lack of electricity leads to no lack of energy or intensity. Hammill tackles his dark subject matter with a ferociousness that’s almost scary. Those subjects range from child molestation (“Just a Child”) to eating disorders (“Skinny”) to religious fanaticism (“This Is the Fall”) to the amazement of a father watching his child grow up (“Once You Called Me”). As always, Hammill treats his issues in personal terms, not delivering platitudes or pronouncements, but describing realistic characters. While all of his solo releases have worthwhile material, this one seems more consistent than some, perhaps due to the instrumentation. But the fact remains: there’s not a dud in this set, and it’s a fine addition to a truly amazing body of work.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Peter Hammill, David Jackson

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur - Þursabit – This band hails from Iceland, and to get a hint at their sound you might think of a Scandinavian Gryphon mixed with a large dose of Gentle Giant. This was their second album, released in 1979. Hinn...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues