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Having said my piece about PR people vis-à-vis leak culture, I figure it’s only fair to write about some of the records that show up in my mailbox unsolicited.

This week I got promos from two local hard rock acts, Sterling’s Pygmy Lush and Germantown’s Clutch.

Well, actually, to call Pygmy Lush a hard-rock act is only halfway right. The band—which includes a couple members of pageninetynine, another Sterling act I wrote about a couple years back—performs two kinds of songs: country-rock that is country in the Cormac McCarthy sense of the word (think Black Heart Procession and recent Earth), and country-rock that is country in the metallic sense of the word (think: a bunch of kids in Slayer shirts hanging out at Sheetz). On its latest Robotic Empire release, Bitter River, Pygmy Lush is good at both, even if the record is, at times, a bit schizophrenic.

Clutch, on the other hand, does one thing and one thing only. On its eighth and latest album, From Beale Street to Oblivion (sent to me by the kind folks at Action! PR), the band combines blues and hardcore with aplomb. It’s an odd sound, if only because so few bands make the connection anymore. But Clutch does it well, suggesting a modernized version of bluesy seventies rock acts such as Blodwyn Pig and first-album-era Black Sabbath. In other words, this is metal that sounds like a beer commercial on ‘roids. The band just started a long US tour and will be appearing at 9:30 Club on November 25th.