CLUTCH Opens Up Your Mind With Psychic Warfare
When it comes to cranking out solid blues and groove jams, Maryland-based rockers Clutch have earned a reputation as pioneers in the hard-rock/stoner-rock genre, blending a plethora of stylistic elements from rock, metal, hardcore punk, jazz, blues, and even D.C. go-go, into a unique and infectious sound fans have come to love. Frontman Neil Fallon is a self-confessed “professional liar,” and consequently highly qualified to be the teller of tall tales when it comes to the unfolding narrative on the band’s latest release. On their follow-up to 2013’s widely celebrated Earth Rocker, Clutch deliver the goods again with their eleventh studio album, Psychic Warfare. The album is released via the band’s label, Weathermaker Music, and recorded in Austin, Texas at The Machine Shop. The band once again turn to producer Machine (who worked on Earth Rocker, as well as 2004’s Blast Tyrant) to man the controls. Clutch are on the brink of celebrating their 25th anniversary and show no signs of slowing down with Psychic Warfare. [columns] [column size=”1/3″]
Album Title: Psychic Warfare
Release Date: 02 October, 2015
Playing Time: 00:39:38
Label: Weathermaker Music
After a brief spoken introduction by way of “The Affidavit,” Fallon and crew blast off on an electrified, paranoia-fueled bender filled with Cold War era references with “X-Ray Visions.” The closest thing to a title track, the song features a catchy chorus where Fallon warns us that “Psychic Warfare is real! You better believe me, brother – X-Ray Vision!” If “X-Ray Visions” is the quick jab of a one-two combination, then the next track is the right hook that knocks you on your ass. However, “Firebirds” does more than that – it gets you back on your feet and beckons you to shout out with the sing-along chorus.
My personal favorite on the album is “Quick Death in Texas,” with its Texas blues leanings and stylistic similarities with ZZ Top – there’s even a possible shout out to Billy Gibbons with the phrase: “Please forgive me, Mr. Gibbons.” It’s also worth mentioning that only Fallon can incorporate “Nacogdoches” into the lyrics and make it sound cool. The innuendo-laden groove of “Your Love Is Incarceration” highlights Clutch’s infamous blend of tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top machismo, meaty hooks, and an infectious groove. While the brief mid-point instrumental interlude, “Doom Saloon,” might take some of the wind out of the album’s momentum, slow-burners “Our Lady of Electric Light” and album closer “Son of Virginia” showcase the band’s ability to let the music breath while still delivery a compelling and memorable journey through their ever-changing musical landscape. The latter of the two is the longest track on the album and delivers a fitting build-up and closure to Psychic Warfare.
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