CLUTCH — Psychic Warfare

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CLUTCH - Psychic Warfare cover
4.96 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2015

Filed under Stoner Rock
By CLUTCH

Tracklist


1. The Affidavit (0:25)
2. X-Ray Visions (3:42)
3. Firebirds (3:00)
4. A Quick Death In Texas (3:57)
5. Sucker For The Witch (3:21)
6. Your Love Is Incarceration (3:14)
7. Doom Saloon (1:12)
8. Our Lady Of Electric Light (3:51)
9. Noble Savage (2:49)
10. Behold The Colossus (3:51)
11. Decapitation Blues (3:11)
12. Son Of Virginia (7:15)

Total Time 39:38

Line-up/Musicians


- Neil Fallon / vocals, guitar, harmonica
- Tim Sult / guitar
- Dan Maines / bass
- Jean-Paul Gaster / drums and percussion

About this release

Releases October 2nd 2015 on WeatherMaker Music.

Thanks to Unitron for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates

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CLUTCH PSYCHIC WARFARE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Psychic Warfare" is the 11th full-length studio album by US hard rock act Clutch. The album was released through WeatherMaker Music in October 2015. As always Clutch have kept busy touring, but still found time to write and record "Psychic Warfare". "Psychic Warfare" is the successor to "Earth Rocker" from 2013. An album where Clutch returned to packing a bit more punch than they had on the last couple of preceeding releases...

...and that tendency is continued on "Psychic Warfare", which features some of the most hard rocking and energetic tracks yet released by Clutch. Tracks like "X-Ray Visions", "Firebirds", and "Noble Savage" are so wild and full of raw energy, that it´s impossible to sit still while listening to them. Not all tracks on the album are as fast paced as those tracks, but even mid-paced heavier tracks like "Sucker For The Witch", "Decapitation Blues", and "Behold The Colossus", are still full of great uplifting raw energy, blues based licks, and groove. The album also features two mellower tracks in "Our Lady of Electric Light" and "Son of Virginia". None of them are ballad type tracks though, and they still rock pretty hard.

The musicianship is as always strong and one of the band´s greatest assets. The rhythm section of bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster groove and rocks hard throughout the album, guitarists Tim Sult ripps out one great hard rocking riff after another, and occasionally spice things up with some great lead work or solos, and lead vocalist Neil Fallon sounds as commanding as ever. It´s indisputable that Fallon has a strong voice and a personal delivery, but the storytelling type lyrics featured on "Psychic Warfare" make his vocals come out even stronger. There is both great thoughtful wit and tons of even greater humour featured in those words, and I can´t help smile whenever I hear the lyrics to tracks like "X-Ray Visions" or "Son of Virginia". High class lyrics in my book.

The whole thing is packed in a raw, organic, and powerful sounding production, which suits the music perfectly. And upon conclusion perfect is exactly the right word to use about "Psychic Warfare". It was great the first time I listened to it, but the fact that it has grown even better with each listen since, proves to me that this is a very speciel release. The relative diversity of the material, the way the tracklist is constructed, and all of the positive things I´ve described above, make this a sure 5 star (100%) rating in my book.
Unitron
Clutch - Psychic Warfare

'Psychic Warfare' is the eleventh studio album from stoner/hard rock band Clutch. Starting out as a hardcore punk-twinged stoner rock/metal band back in the 90's, Clutch has been one of the most consistent rock acts out there. They've changed their sound since, now having a very blues-y hard rock sound with various other sounds mixed in. I thought that their previous album 'Earth Rocker' was one of their best if not their best, but now after listening to this, this has to be their best yet.

The sound here is very energetic hard rock with a strong blues edge and some southern rock mixed in at times. Clutch wastes no time with bringing the listener to some high-octane rockers like 'X-Ray Visions', which has an extremely catchy riff getting you ready for the rest of the album. It flows smoothly straight into the driving 'Firebirds!', which has an awesome chorus with some killer vocals from Neil Fallon. Next up is the southern-rock twinged 'A Quick Death in Texas'. Just try not to stomp your foot to the jumpy beat, I find it difficult not to. Next comes another extremely catchy driving song with 'Sucker for the Witch', which has a really catchy retro almost heavy metal riff. Also, I can't forget to mention it's really nice guitar solo. I think I've summed up how all the driving rockers sound, they are all simply great.

While this album is jam-packed with killer driving songs, Clutch also knows how to make amazing slower songs as well, as seen in 'Our Lady of Electric Light' which begins with the dark and bluesy intro song 'Doom Saloon'. 'Our Lady of Electric Light' has a real epic atmosphere to it, even with it clocking in at only 3:52. The solo playing over a dark bluesy riff actually reminds me a lot of early albums from the heavy space rock band Eloy. Fallon's low passionate vocals in this song fit perfectly with the dark tone of the song. The other slow song on the album is the finale, 'Son of Virginia', which begins with a really nice dark southern riff and beautiful guitar work playing over the aforementioned riff. Clutch really make their slower songs have epic atmospheres, with this song having epic changes from soft southern blues to heavy bluesy rock.

Overall, It's not every year that a new favorite album is released. Clutch retains their sense of humor, their energetic rocking, and adds in some but not too much to enhance their sound even more. This was a difficult review to write, as there aren't really any stand-out tracks, because every song stands out. Every song is just as memorable as the next, whether it be fast or slow, each song really packs a punch. This is probably Clutch's best album yet, and that's not an easy thing to say with such an amazing discography. Entering the hall of my favorite albums, this is one album that no fan of driving rock and metal should miss. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!
Kingcrimsonprog
Clutch have come a long, long way from their Hardcore roots, and if you do a side-by side comparison of the likes of the Pitchfork or Passive Restraints EPs, you’d scarcely imagine it is the same band. They’ve weaved their way from defining Stoner Rock, to becoming loose and jam focused, to exploring Blues territories.

All the way through they’ve been inventive, impressive, consistent and a whole barrel of fun. Almost no band going can claim to have more charm, personality or dependability, and there’s barely been a group on this Earth with the same down to earth vibe and strong work-ethic for such a long, long time. I mean, what other band still has all the original members of its debut album’s line-up, ten albums later?

That’s Clutch for you. Always honest, always consistent and always excellent. They do what they want and they do it well and it always sounds good. With their previous album, 2013’s Earth Rocker, the band stripped away all the frills and delivered the most focused and electrifying performance possible, with arguably the most trim and electric collection of tunes to date. It was a damn good album, with a good direction for the band at that moment in time, and the press and the public stood up, took notice and started to realize just what an amazing band Clutch had been all along. Clutch concerts had bigger audiences, you see more people in the streets wearing Clutch shirts and Clutch get more mentions on podcasts and magazines and popular music websites than they have in a while. Altogether; a triumph, well deserved and long-earned, with no hint of compromise. The band’s public mindshare has gone up and down over the year but right now feels like a golden era.

Psychic Warfare now comes along, two years later in 2015, and follows the same formula. Clutch give a damn focused, lazer-beam version of their trademark sound, in a briefer, more succinct fashion than ever before. They speed up the tempos, they give an even sweatier more powerful performance, and they never compromise what makes them so good in the first place.

‘X-Ray Visions,’ ‘Sucker For The Witch,’ ‘Decapitation Blues’ and especially ‘Noble Savage’ are barrelling, fast-paced rockers. Hold on to something or the album might well knock you over. ‘A Quick Death In Texas’ is a funky ZZ Top-flavoured smile-inducer that recalls previous work like ‘DC Sound Attack’ in its funky midsection and ‘50,000 Unstoppable Watts’ in its uplifting chorus (and features amusing lyrics about a man in mortal peril after having seduced ZZ Top’s singer’s wife). Balance is achieved with the sublime ‘Our Lady Of Electric Light’ and ‘Son Of Virginia’ which recall the very best of the slow side of Clutch; think ‘Drink To The Dead,’ ‘The Face,’ ‘The Regulator’ and ‘Basket Of Eggs’ and you’re in the right territory… but damn, these two are particularly strong, evocative and entertaining. It doesn’t overdo the slow moments, it doesn’t overdo the instrumental noodling, and even with all the speed it isn’t repetitive or simplistic. It is a pretty perfect mixture that captures Clutch as they are in 2015 absolutely masterfully.

As always, the musicianship is otherworldly with some of the most subtly fantastic drums in the industry and bass and guitar lines that will stick in your head for years if history is anything to go by – no one’s showing off but everyone comes across like a virtuoso. Fallon’s superb vocals are as sharp as ever; full of story-selling conviction and passion as he screams, sings, bellows and worries his way through poplar music’s greatest lyrical adventures since Phil Lynott passed away. The man knows how to convey drama, that’s for sure! I want to single out a few choice lyrics every time I review a Clutch record, so stupendous are the band at creating memorable lines, but man, I’d just have the whole damn record’s lyrics down this time!

Album highlights? Every damn song! Don’t even bother with a tester. If you like the band, you’ll love this. Overall; If you like the band then you absolutely need this in your collection. If you don’t like the band then you’re seriously missing out on something special – maybe try again now and reevaluate. In any case; I don’t reckon it would be humanly possible for Clutch to have made a better album and I can’t imagine enjoying anything they could’ve come up with this time more. I know it goes against my Catholic upbringing, but I’m a sucker for this album.

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