There’s something a little bit special about The Inspector Cluzo. On first glance at their name, you would probably get the Gaelic connection, but you could easily dismiss them as a bit of a comedy outfit. Pass on by, and you will miss out on an innovative, creative, and highly impressive outfit who are now 15 years into a musical journey that has seen them cover the globe, play at Download and Hellfest, support Clutch across the USA as well as Europe, and release eight gloriously DIY albums on their own Fuckthebassplayer label.
The Inspector Cluzo – Horizon (F.thebassplayer Records)
Release Date: 27 January 2023
Words: Paul Hutchings
What’s possibly more of a surprise is the discovery that the Gascony-based rock-blues duo do this as a side-hustle, for their main role is professional organic farmers on their farm Lou Casse. It’s no wonder that their albums have included the titles We, The People Of The Soil or Rockfarmers.
But once you get underneath the skin, then it’s intoxication all the way. Live they are a force majeure. And here, on album number nine, The Inspector Cluzo, Laurent (Guitar, Lead Vocal) and Mathieu (Drums) have expanded their sound in truly epic style to deliver just short of an hour of eclectic, absorbing, and emotive music.
There are heavy bits, light bits, rock ‘n’ roll anthems and seriously from-the-heart moments. It all adds up to an album that is likely to be on repeat for many months to come.
Running The Family Farm Is More Fun Than Playing Rock ‘n’ Roll stomps along whilst bringing the duo’s ethos to the fore. And no more does it come front and centre than Wolfs At The Door, their encounter with a factory farm which opened nearby and threatened their entire livelihood with avian flu, chemical pollution, and the like.
Similarly, Saving The Geese recounts their battle with the French State over the latter’s attempt to slaughter their flock for precautionary measures.
It’s not all darkness, though. There’s the meandering, beautifully sculpted seven-minute plus The Outsider, where the band drop it down a notch and show their inner calm. A gentle, pleasing song, it works as a counterbalance to some of the louder stuff but still bubbles ferociously, with the odd spiky riff and some expansive keyboard work that widens the band’s sound from previous releases.
Shenanigans is a trip down memory lane as they recount their meeting with Bill Elder in Nashville. “Some say he used to have hair, but I don’t believe it, think he was born bald, and just stayed that way!” sings Laurent. The title track is another heart tug, and surprisingly was a song that should have featured on their debut album but was never finished.
Two more to consider. Rockophobia questions the direction of the rock world and sees the mighty Iggy Pop guest, whilst the dig at the green brigade in The Armchair Activist should hit a few nerves and rightly so.
It all adds up to the most complete work the two musicians have crafted on their musical journey to date. I’m just gutted that I can’t get to one of their forthcoming support shows with Eels in March.
If you can, I’d suggest you do. The Inspector Cluzo are something a bit special. They deserve all the love.