Clutch have surpassed themselves, releasing a definite album of the year contender
Over their career, Clutch have morphed from a sludgy riff-based behemoth to a lighter and more mobile beast capable of creating both crushingly heavy hard rock and bluesy modern classics. 2013’s ‘Earth Rocker’ quickly proved to be a zenith that thrilled fans and critics worldwide. ‘Psychic warfare’ is no less thrilling and if anything a more expansive collection. It oozes the bluesy and ballsy magic that Clutch has made a career out, and woven into the rhythm are the frenzied preaching’s of frontman and “Professional liar” Neil Fallon.
Album opener “X-Ray visions” and “Firebirds” pick up where ‘Earth Rocker’ left off, presenting heavy grooving riffs that encapsulate Clutch at their best. Next is the rhythmic stomp of “A Quick Death in Texas”. The short interlude “Doom Salon” flows into the sombre “Our Lady of the Electric Night” which sounds like the theme to some sort of noir-western hybrid film. What follows is the heaviest song on the album, the aptly titled “Noble Savage”. The album highlight comes in the form of the fantasy inspired “Behold the Colossus” and it sounds like something you would hear coming from the sea before Vikings invade.
The rhythm section of Clutch, Jean-Paul Gaster (Drums) and Dan Maines (Bass) work together like two bodies with one head, following along with the syncopated vocals and providing the support required for an album that takes so many winding turns and wrestle it back into line flawlessly.
It’s trendy right now in the world of rock music, to declare that it’s finished. It’s said that it was killed prematurely by music piracy, lack of mainstream attention on new bands or fickle fans. I would suggest that if, like many of us, you live and breathe rock and/or metal then you should thank the deity of your choice that Clutch continue to release such soulful tunes in the face of such criticism.