Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Music To Write By: Clutch's "Escape from the Prison Planet"

Why Listen? For the aural embodiment of pop-culture conspiracy theories that made The X-Files great.

I miss The X-Files. Somehow Chris Carter's only truth successful series managed to merge disjointed pop-culture conspiracy theories into a narrative whole. Well, at least until the last two seasons, which are best altogether ignored. Perhaps that's why Clutch's "Escape from the Prison Planet" resonates with me; it manages to tap into the imagery that made the show work.

The song starts as a general lamentation over the state of society ("Parties are crashed, skid marks are measured. / The story's in the paper, you may read it at your leisure"), but quickly moves into full-fledged genre territory. Lead singer Neil Fallon howls like a demented street preacher about everything from dark-suited government investigators and extraterrestrial artifacts at the Department of Energy to rebuilding Martian pyramids and UFO "expert" Bob Lazar. Think of a tightly wound theme swiftly unspooling into stream-of-consciousness musings. Only raucous blues riffs and pounding rock interrupt Fallon's ravings, the perfect punctuation to paranoid rants.

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