Clutch

Psychic Warfare

Written by: BV on 03/12/2015 12:44:56

Clutch’s last release, 2013’s “Earth Rocker”, arguably marked one of their biggest triumphs to date, as it was a playful, sporadically psychedelic album that was never afraid to go progressive once in a while. With such achievements behind them, Clutch have returned in 2015 with “Psychic Warfare”, recorded in Texas and produced by Machine (who also twisted the knobs for both “Earth Rocker” and the magnificent “Blast Tyrant” from 2004). “Psychic Warfare” never quite tries to follow up on its predecessor; instead it marks a return to a groovier, blues-based approach with a no-frills attitude to it.

After opening with a bland and relatively negligible intro, Clutch blast through “X-Ray Visions” – a track so god damn rowdy that you’d be a fool to not let yourself be smitten with rock n’ roll ecstasy. In spite of dealing with overtly nerdy sci-fi concepts, “X-Ray Visions” is a pure badass in terms of mere track charisma. Front-man Neil Fallon bellows these conspiracy-fueled lyrics with utter conviction and an attitude so powerful that he more than matches the aggression and relentless drive of the main guitar riff. It is, by all means, a perfect opening of an album. I’m pumped as hell every time that track is over, at least.

With “A Quick Death in Texas” Clutch gear down the tempo a bit and settle into a solid blues groove that is equal parts accessible and infectious. Lyrics like; ”The saloon doors stopped swinging / The piano player stopped playing / In the shadows I could hear Archaic Spanish phrases / The preacher stood up from his table in his right hand he held a bible / And in his left, the business end of a Winchester rifle” are downright exemplary for such a dusty blues groove and once more the delivery of the vocals, rather than the actual meaning of the words contribute to an incredible amount of the ultimate success of the track.

Spanning twelve tracks, there will arguably also be a few less successful tracks along the way for “Psychic Warfare”. Tracks like “Your Love is Incarceration” still have that specific sort of swagger to them that make them entirely passable as good tracks – but when compared to the rest of the material on “Psychic Warfare” and, to be honest, the Clutch discography as a whole, these tracks fall somewhat short in the greater scheme of things.

What it all comes down to, then, is the fact that Clutch have not made a new “Earth Rocker” or “Blast Tyrant” – “Psychic Warfare” stands alone for better or for worse, and that’s honestly the way I’d prefer it as well. Clutch have always set a high standard – it’s just nice to see them attempting to stick to it as well.

Download: X-Ray Visions, A Quick Death in Texas, Our Lady of Electric Light
For the fans of: Down, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.10.2015
Weathermaker Music


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