The all-conquering Clutch return with their new album Psychic Warfare and unsurprisingly it’s a bit of a belter! This group of Marylanders are one of the very few bands actually deserving of the tremendous hype that comes their way and on this, their 11th(!) album, they have hit the jackpot once again.
Like Earth Rocker before it, Psychic Warfare is an immediate attention-grabber. After a short intro, “X-Ray Visions” kicks proceedings off in inimitable Clutch style. If you’re a fan of the band then, chances are, you’ll already have encountered this fine track. Want the good news? This album is chock-full of pure rock fury just like it, with the tempo only dropping when the mellow and downbeat “Our Lady Of Electric Light” tenderly strokes your beard. However, the pace quickly picks up and remains up-beat until the closing, whiskey-soaked epic “Son Of Virginia“.
Part of this bands strength is that the four core members have known each other since high school and seem to possess an almost telepathic link. Of course, twenty years into a glorious career you’d be right to expect them to deliver but this is something else! Psychic Warfare is full of the expected enormous, swaggering, blues-inspired riffs – anchored by the loose jazzy beats of Jean Paul Gaster – but it’s Clutch operating at the next level.
It has been said before but we’ll say it again, the star of the show really is frontman Neil Fallon. No one on the planet can rival this man for vocal delivery, his bug eyed intensity and southern preacher style is instantly recognisable and endlessly entertaining. Of course, it’s not just his delivery that’s inspired. Fallon’s lyrics avoid your run-of-the-mill machismo bullsh*t and – as ever – you’re more likely to encounter the kind of ‘telekinetic prophetic dynamite’ that Clutch revel in than the usual hard rock/metal cliches.
If you’re already a fan of Clutch (and who isn’t, right?) then you’ll know just how damn good this band really is. However, if you’re unfamiliar with their work do yourself a favour, slap yourself round the face and then go and pick up the greatest album of Clutch’s illustrious career. It’s certifiable gold! 10/10