As we open up with The Affidavit, which sets the tone for what could possibly one of Clutch’s most atmospheric album openers. ‘Why don’t you just take a seat and start from the beginning’, states a Southern drawl, that opens up the saloon doors to the bands first track and also first single from Psychic Warfare. X-Ray Visions comes hurdling out of the traps, where the mighty Earth Rocker left off. A groove-laden rolling riff, galloping and swirling through the air, with Fallon’s whiskey toned poetry smothered over the top, giving a positive start to the bands 11th studio album.
As we wade deeper into the murky Clutch swamp, Firebirds quickly develops into a classic highway-cruising tempo, armed with an instantly addictive chorus, showing outstanding rhythm work from Dan Mains (bass) and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), making this, an instant Clutch classic, that will be sure to piss off your neighbors, as I discovered from hitting the repeat button multiple times, at a ridiculous volume setting.
A dirty, bar-room floor riff, commands the brilliantly titled, A Quick Death in Texas, which displays the exceptional talents of Gaster, who transports you down sun-baked, Southern American dusty back roads, with a shotgun-barrel cow bell, that dances throughout Sults infectious riffs. In keeping with the high energy of Blast Tyrant and Earth Rocker, Clutch are keeping to the format of punchy, blues-driven hard rock, with Sucker For the Witch and Love Your Incarceration, which is just begging to be unleashed live!
As the pace finally gives way to a laid back western style soundtrack, with Saloon of Doom, before slipping into the wonderfully delicate, Our Lady of Electric Light, it becomes painfully clear, that Clutch as just masters at what they do. Their ability to create music that touches on so many senses, gives the listener an entire imaginative landscape, with vivid characters and interesting scenarios, all created by Fallon’s hypnotic lyrics, which is an exceptional talent and one that is hard to come by.
The chemistry between Fallon’s vocal delivery and Gaston’s drumming, is a match made in heaven, that weaves in and out of instantly addictive melodies, catchy choruses and that undisputed groove and motion, which Clutch seem to be the masters of. Long time producer, ‘Machine’, yet again, manages to capture lightening in a bottle, with Psychic Warfare. As each song on the album blossoms to life, the band deliver, slab after slab of audio quality, with Nobal Savage, Behold The Colossus, Decapitation Blues and the rather epic, Son Of Virgina, giving the listener exactly what they would expect from a Clutch album, with a side helping of awesome.
Like an any respected, established name, Clutch have earned their stripes, by delivering outstanding live shows and quality albums (can you name a bad Clutch album?) since 1991 and as they prepare to release Psychic Warfare on the world on October 2nd, you can be damn sure they will continue reign supreme, as one of the best live bands you will get to see in your lifetime. A blistering album, packed with all kinds of good stuff, which you need in your life!
Words – Oran O’Beirne
Psychic Warfare is out via Weathermaker Music on October 2nd. Pre-orders and limited signed copies available here. Exclusive pre-orders available from Sound Cellar in Dublin’s Nassau Street. Please call 01-6771940 for more information.
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