Album Review: Clutch “Psychic Warfare”


“Psychic Warfare” track listing:

01. The Affidavit
02. X-Ray Visions
03. Firebirds
04. A Quick Death In Texas
05. Sucker For The Witch
06. Your Love Is Incarceration
07. Doom Saloon
08. Our Lady Of Electric Light
09. Noble Savage Clutch
10. Behold The Colossus
11. Decapitation Blues
12. Son Of Virginia

Review by Kelly O

When the band was asked about musical direction of “Psychic Warfare”, Fallon said: “It’s probably faster than ‘Earth Rocker’. We wrote it pretty quickly after ‘Earth Rocker’, so we were, kind of, still in that headspace.”

CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster told The Aquarian Weekly: “There are some similarities in regards to ‘Earth Rocker’, and there are some songs on it that are sort of familiar, but we did some different stuff, too. There’s stuff that is a little funkier, and there’s other stuff that’s a little more bluesy. So there’s more diversity, I think.”

Asked about the creative process in CLUTCH, Jean-Paul Gaster said: “The creative process really hasn’t changed all that much. It’s really just the four of us getting together and banging out jams, so to speak. We work on one or two parts at a time, and often we set those parts aside and work on something new. We’ll do that for several months until we have a large pool of ideas to pull from. As we get closer to the recording process, we start to try to fix some of these parts and make them into songs. Sometimes the songs get cannibalized as well, like one song will sort of eat the other, in a way. And even then we have a lot of songs to choose from, so sometimes songs that we have been working on for months won’t even end up on the record.”

Now over 20 years Clutch has been building up a dedicated cult following in the New England area and beyond with their hard hitting brand of rock n roll. Now Maryland’s favorite band is back with their eleventh album Psychic Warfare, the much-anticipated follow up to the immensely successful Earth Rocker from 2013. Releasing this album through there own label, Weathermaker Music.

I grew up on the Blues, Classic Rock, Hard rock, if you haven’t given the band a try before, I think this is a good place to start. Since their conception, The Maryland rockers Clutch have been pumping their music in to smaller venues across the globe staying out of the lime light in the bigger spots.

Psychic Warfare begins with a story of a detective sitting down in a hotel bar with the witness. The detective hands him a pen and paper and asks him to start at the beginning. This is when all hell breaks loose. Like their previous album, Psychic Warfare is jam packed with high energy; blues rooted rock that’s begging to be played loud and is sure to get your head banging. The beauty of Clutch is that these guys craft songs that tell great stories all while jamming to brilliant and raw rock music. “The Affidavit” sets the tone for the story to unfold with “X-Ray Visions” and “Firebirds.” As the fist pumping grooves and riffs burrow into your brain, you can picture the man on the run from the smoldering hotel ruins and meeting a sweet young thing with an urgent need for sophisticated weaponry.

“Sucker for the Witch” and “Your Love is Incarceration” are both in the vein of “woman done me wrong” anthems, updated with some hard rock twist. The latter of these two tracks in particular is pure, weaponized sex, bursting with a fat, killer instrumental that’s sure to get you out of your seatThis album has its slow and introspective moments too, like the fantastic “Our Lady of Electric Light,” a ballad detailing the interior of a seedy dive bar, or the six-minute-long closing track, “Son of Virginia,” a swampland dirge that will have listeners reaching for their lighters anytime they hear it. This track floats off into the horizon like a ferry on the Potomac disappearing into the sunset.

Psychic Warfare is album packed with mythology, broken hearts, restless spirits, paranoia, brushes with the law and about a thousand other lunatic things woven into bright coherence by a quartet of American masters. It is also an album about energy; a mad vitality courses and crackles through the tracks. For a band fond of often-opaque album titles, Psychic Warfare could not possibly be a better descriptor of the music contained within. Prime Clutch.