Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Clutch - Psychic Warfare (2015)

If I had to compare any band to a gigantic happy pill, I would instantly think of Clutch. Not only was their last effort, 2013's "Earth Rocker", a groovy monster that made me grin from ear to ear, but it confirmed what the band has been doing for so long, delivering high quality groove rock that is extremely hard to match. Who can dislike the band when they put out such groovy tunes!

Clutch's latest offering to the world is called "Psychic Warfare", and it is more or less more of the same stuff that you have heard before from the band. Tunes so groovy that you can't sit still, and a Neil Fallon that hypnotizes you with his incredible and unique voice. Needless to say, if you like the band, "Psychic Warfare" will not make you disappointed.

Instead of spinning further with what made "Earth Rocker" so great, "Psychic Warfare" stands on its own two legs with a more American sound, with both blues and country mixed with the typical Clutch groove, but when the band released their first song from this album, "X-Ray Visions", one would think that "Psychic Warfare" would become a direct sequel to "Earth Rocker", since "X-Ray Visions" sounds like it would fit neatly into that album with its groovy attacks and playful lyrics. When that song plays its final notes, there are no more direct comparisons between the two albums.

I am not a big fan of blues at all, but the band does make its own spin on the genre, making it pretty fun. Songs like "A Quick Death In Texas" and "Sucker For The Witch" has such a great attraction to it that it is irresistible to ignore it. They also change the mood neatly with the country hymn "Doom Saloon/Our Lady Electric Light", so the album does not get all too stale. It all leads up to the climax known as "Son of Virginia", an amazing 7 minute closer that ultimately shows that the band can create other songs that power groovers. This is a strong tune that takes you to the wild west and shoots a lot of great instrumentation at you, while Neil Fallon takes out his most emotional vocals, just to give this track even more depth. Incredible.

But while the album is as great as it is, it is still miles away from the quality that "Earth Rocker" had. That album literally made all of my bones jiggle with excitement and joy, attacking from all fronts with a great arsenal of songs. "Psychic Warfare" does not have the same strength in either numbers nor force as its predecessor, but it is still a great general in the army known as Clutch's discography.

So "Psychic Warfare" does not reach the same astronomic heights as "Earth Rocker", but I do not mind it since it is so hard to follow a master piece with another one. I do appreciate that Clutch did try to re-invent themselves instead of taking the safe route, making a "Earth Rocker 2.0". With the talent that the band possesses and a momentum that seems unstoppable, the band has created another highly enjoyable album that gets your groove on.

Songs worthy of recognition: Son of Virginia, X-Ray Visions, Sucker For The Witch

Rating: 8/10 Noble Savages

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