“The band Clutch, have you ever heard of them?” I ask.
“I remember Clutchfrom back in the day but I stopped following them in the late 90s.”
It’s a good era for the band and the energy was definitely there. I love that people have at least HEARD OF them… because it makes them receptive to new information regarding the rest of their career. A lot of bands “change their sound” which is fine and dandy… but Clutch is one of the bands where they write CLUTCH songs… and they don’t really need to change the formula too much. The thing with this band is every member keeps getting better as a musician and as songwriters. It’s still Clutch… but everyone is just… better.
This album is one of the many pieces of evidence for that claim. The songs hit just as hard as before with no exceptions. The mix is cleaner, the performances are flawless, the production is stellar and Neil’s vocals have raised the bar. I’m a fan of Maynard’s work from Tool, APC and Puscifer. I’m a fan of Mike Patton from pretty much any of the hundreds of projects he does. Devin Townsend is flawless and comfortable with every technique he uses (vocal fry, screaming, opera, clean vocals etc)… and I am a fan of Neil Fallon. I put him up there with those guys.
His lyrics are characteristic and clever. Only he could think up of some of these lines. “Firebirds! Energy Weapons! Both these things are interesting to me!” from the song Firebirds!. The title track Psychic Warfare paints a glorious picture as if it were from a movie.
“Next thing that I did was tap out Morse code
With a wooden nickel on the receiver on the phone
Before I could complete it, I was quickly overtaken
By the angry spirits of Ronald and Nancy Reagan”
The entire album has fantastic lines and lyrics that support all of the amazing musicianship. There isn’t a bad song on this one. In fact when I listen to it I tend to keep it in the CD player of my truck for a couple weeks at a time. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy screaming lines from this album out of context in everyday life. Or just Beavis and Butthead “duh duh duh” singing Tim Sult’s riffs. I could honestly write a 5 star review for each member of the band now that I think of it. Jean-Paul Gaster and Dan Maines are so locked in and creative with every song and every part, I wanna hear more. What an awesome album. What a great band. Keep up the good work guys.
I’m really excited to write something for your new album “Book of Bad Decisions” which I STILL haven’t heard yet. On to the next review!