Clutch is engaged in Psychic Warfare to save rock n’ roll
Conspiracy theories make for great fiction, and with The X-Files back on TV, the time time is right for some good ole’ speculation and fun when it comes to strange tales of psychic warfare, government cover ups, and supernatural happenings. All the current X-Files revivalist zeitgeist needs is a soundtrack. Enter Clutch’s latest album, the aptly titled Psychic Warfare; 12 songs about the titular psychic warfare, Salem witches, gorgons, the cyclops, and the Colossus. Most importantly: unapologetic rock and roll makes for the most fun musical ride this side of the Saturday afternoon “creature features” of yore.
Let’s make one thing clear though, Psychic Warfare is not an occult exercise in Fibonacci sequencing or attempts at consciousness-expanding lyrics and progressions, a la classic TOOL. No, Psychic Warfare is a grungy sludge through some thick bass and guitar lines designed more to get yo’ ass up and rocking rather than tripping you out, and therefore it’s a much more fun listen. One of the best things about The X-Files was (and is) its penchant for dropping humor amongst the angst. Psychic Warfare strikes the same type of balance.
Frontman Neil Fallon’s rough and gruff delivery is laced with just the right amount of the sly wit that he has always employed while singing about such deep subjects. Lead single, “X-Ray Visions,” is a bashing blaze through “telekinetic DY-NO-MITE!,” “Morse Code,” and “the angry spirits of Nancy and Ronald Reagan.” The song has a slinging live feel to it, especially when Fallon introduces all of his bandmates, and himself, by their astrological signs rather than their names, as if they are live on stage.
Other standout tracks such as “Sucker for The Witch,” feels more like a sludge through the thick swamps of New Orleans than the barren woods of Salem, as Fallon declares it’s located, with its staunch base lines and pinging beat. Be her a voodoo witch or a possessed Puritan though, the band creates a song of praise to the unnamed witch strong enough to make the apocryphal Lilith herself blush. “Noble Savage,” with its breakneck pace, betrays the band’s true love though. It’s a full-on paen to rock and roll with Fallon declaring himself, and his bandmates as well I’m sure, an “unapologetic lifer for rock and roll!”
It’s a great sentiment, and at its heart Psychic Warfare is much more of a straightforward fusion album in Clutch’s more traditional sense of sound. The sludgy slogs and staccato beats will warm the hearts of long-time Clutch fans, but those looking for an expansion upon the proggy elements of 2013’s Earth Rocker will be disappointed. Psychic Warfare isn’t a step back for the band sonically; rather, maybe it serves as a step up for the fans who thought that the golden oldie sound of earlier Clutch was permanently sloughed off with Earth Rocker.
Clutch might occasionally slough their way out of their own conventions now and again, but with Psychic Warfare the band proves it wants to remain true to its well-honed formula, that isn’t so much a formula as it is a psychic kick in the pants of conventional, and currently popular and safe, guitar-driven rock n roll. Clutch were never ones to crave the mainstream spotlight though. Instead, in the tradition of bands such as Overkill, they stick to their guns, and continue to wage the good fight for their own unique brand of rock, and their fun-loving, co-conspiring fan base.
See them on tour:
|Mar 03||The Triffid||Brisbane, Australia||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Mar 04||The Metro||Sydney Nsw, Australia||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Mar 05||Forum Melbourne||Melbourne, Australia||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 01||Welcome To Rockville||Jacksonville, FL||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 07||Carolina Rebellion||Concord, NC||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 13||89.7 The River Rockfest 2016||Council Bluffs, IA||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 14||Northern Invasion||Somerset, WI||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 20||Rock n Derby Festival||Schaghticoke, NY||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 21||Rock on the Range||Columbus, OH||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Aug 05||Off Festival||Katowice, Poland||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Aug 06||Wacken Open Air||Rendsburg, Germany||Sold Out||RSVP||Share|