Lunatic's Serenade

Facebook Twitter Google

HMS Music Spotlight

With hints of T. Rex and Nazareth, Clutch mixes classic acid rock with whiskey, speed and angst. Mix a tight pocket rhythm section, fuzz tone on guitars, and one mean vocalist and you have Psychic Warfare, the band’s 11th studio release which debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200. After more than two decades, Clutch grabbed its first number 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Album chart and 2nd Hard Rock number 1 with 26,000 in first week sales.

“The Affidavit,” a short spoken intro like a movie clip, sets the stage for “X-Ray Visions.” Right from the start it grabs you with a grungy, dirty sound that has been a staple with this band. Singer, Neil Fallon introduces the band before the solo which I thought was a good idea, especially if it’s your first time hearing this band. “Firebirds” adds a little speed metal flavor, like a 60’s rock song on steroids with a strong rhythm and a catchy chorus. It’s a good lead into the next song, “A Quick Death in Texas,” a heavy ditty with a beefy “stomp” funk groove. Fallon’s soulful R&B style vocals in the chorus make it a fun listen.

“Sucker for the Witch,” starts with a fuzz distorted bass intro. Bassist, Dan Maines, keeps the tone thick throughout the song. The swinging beat and tongue-in-cheek reference to Fleetwood Mac singer, Stevie Nicks, makes it entertaining. James Brown would be proud of the heavy Motown sound of, “Your Love Is Incarceration.” The rhythm and the blues are at the forefront of this song. Clutch channels a bit of Pink Floyd for the short intro “Doom Saloon” that sets up the spaghetti western sound of “Our Lady of Electric Light.” This song puts the Old West flavor into song. The only thing missing is the showdown at the O.K. Corral.

“Noble Savage” picks up the tempo ten-fold as it expresses passionate anger towards politics and lies. “Behold the Colossus” and “Decapitation Blues” beat with the pulse of a thousand hearts. Jean-Paul Gaster on the drums has nice off time hits before the bridge section, like John Bonham used to do. The last song, “Son of Virginia,” ties the album together and gives you the feeling of riding off into the dusty plains. This song won’t leave you flat as it picks up from where it left off in the “The Affidavit” intro.

Psychic Warfare
(Sony Music Canada)
Written by: Tim Duran
8 out of 10

Psychic Warfare is a complex, yet simple concept record; less is more with this album. It’s straight forward, hard rock, heavy blues with a metal attitude. The story line is easy to follow and the songwriting is clever. The classic rock feel of the fuzz tones with Tim Sult and Fallon on guitar and Maines on bass create an intense friction in the music.

Downside, are the two intros that are titled. Upside is that every song sets a scene and allows your imagination to take you away so that you come up with your own vision of what the song makes you feel. I give Psychic Warfare an eight. It’s a well written record with some great imagery; nothing fancy, just crazy rock n’roll.

Tim Duran, HMS

Back to Lunatic's Serenade Menu