It’s not the most exciting video — basically just the song playing and still photos of Scott “Wino” Weinrich and bassist Jon Blank — but I think the song speaks for itself. “Release Me” was the opening track on 2009′s Punctuated Equilibrium, which was the debut and the only release to date from the Wino band; Weinrich, Blank and Clutch‘s Jean-Paul Gaster on drums. A power trio, indeed.
I was lucky enough to see this lineup play at Roadburn in 2009, just a couple weeks before Blank died of an overdose and cast an immutable shadow over the album and the Wino band. They toured some afterwards, opening for Clutch on an American summer jaunt that found Gaster more than ably pulling double duty, but that was it after that. Wino went back on tour with Saint Vitus, did his acoustic record and worked on Premonition 13 and Shrinebuilder, and Gaster continued his never-ending road work with his main outfit.
Whether the Wino band ever does another record, the pairing of Weinrich and Gaster was something unique in the catalogs of both players. Gaster‘s popping snare added bounce to Weinrich‘s riffs, which in turn provides opportunities for stylistic exploration away from Clutch‘s well-established latter-day bluesy aesthetic. Maybe they’ll get back and do it again at some point, maybe they won’t. Either way, Punctuated Equilibrium stands out as a special moment in one of the underground’s most storied discographies, and “Release Me” is one of those songs that just feels like home.
I hope you dig it on this last Wino Wednesday of 2011. See you in the future.
Tags: Southern Lord, Wino, Wino Wednesday