Bakerton Group - El Rojo

10 songs
47:38 minutes
***** **


What should a band do that feels like doing from time to time something different from what their fans expect, but don’t want to alienate them? The solution might be to record those albums under a different name. Bakerton Group is therefore an alter ego of Clutch, one of the most important stoner rock bands that has built its reputation since the early Nineties.

El Rojo is already their second longplayer, after a self-titled debut from 2007, and to make things even more colourful, they hired the services of Opeth keyboarder Per Wiberg. I have to admit: it took me some time to get into this album. The tracks are mostly instrumental, and incidentally sound like extended blues jams, although the pieces are never longer than seven minutes. Considering their main band, the stylistic divergence is not that dramatic, but in Bakerton Group, the Maryland rockers don’t have to adhere to rigid structures and deliver an album that has an authentic live atmosphere. Their guest keyboarder adds a few welcome touches, especially when he plays the mellotron, like on Chancellor or Work’ em. The latter one seems to be the only track with vocals. Bien Clasico even comes with a sizzling saxophone that gives the song an unkempt jazz feeling.

Bakerton Group play music in the spirit of all those endlessly touring American jam bands, and they don’t even do it bad. The conviction can be felt in every single note, and in retrospect, it is only fair towards their fans that they have opted for a different band name. This is not Clutch, but their fans should still check out El Rojo.

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