Review: Clutch – Psychic Warfare

When you discuss the model of consistency in modern rock music it is virtually impossible to leave Clutch out of the conversation. For twenty-five years, the Maryland quartet have churned out eleven full length recordings, along with clocking hundreds of thousands of miles. Add to that, the formation of Weathermaker Music. The combination of Neil Fallon (vocals), Tim Sult (guitar), Dan Maines (bass), Jean-Paul Gaster (drums) have used an “if it ain\’t broke, don\’t fix it” attitude throughout their career. The one thing that has seemingly been out of the bands grasp is the upper echelon level of success. That is, until the release of Psychic Warfare. What Psychic Warfare is not, is Earth Rocker Vol. II but it does seem connected in some strange way.   X-Ray Visions (arguably one of the greatest songs in the Clutch catalog) lyrically, is fueled with paranoia, delusion & conspiracy theory.    A Quick Death in Texas slows Psychic Warfare down a notch. An obvious tribute to ZZ Top with its rhythmic and ultra bluesy guitar with potent, real world lyrics that put a strong emphasis on storytelling.

 “My nasty Yankee mannerisms Didn\’t jive with the local traditions How was I to know she had a jealous husband? He was the GM of a Tractor Supply Well acquainted with the guns and knives Sometimes I swear I have less sense than a bag of hammers I prayed for courage, I prayed for love I prayed for guidance from the heavens above I prayed to know divine protections But now I\’m praying for a quick death in Texas”

Sucker for the Witch opens with a manic bass line from Dan Maines, the song quickly takes off with a chugging riff and gritty vocals. piercing guitars are placed in the lower end of the mix throughout the track, making for a high-octane sound coupled with Gaster’s pulsating drumming.   In all honesty, if you\’re not hooked on Psychic Warfare by this point,you should be ashamed of yourself!