CLUTCH "PSYCHIC WARFARE" ALBUM REVIEW 5/5 SKULLS!


There's a fine line between consistency and repetitiveness. Maryland's pride and joy, Clutch, have made a career out of walking that fine line. For over twenty years, the same four guys have been advancing their own delicious brand of sludgy and infectious hard rock without once tapping the brakes, all while somehow managing to avoid commercial success. With their eleventh album, "Psychic Warfare," there appear to be no pit-stops in sight just yet.


A lean and mean effort, "Psychic Warfare" is a punchy slab of pure unadulterated Clutch, clocking in at just over 40 minutes. Riding high on the energy of 2013's most-excellent "Earth Rocker," "Psychic Warfare" hits the ground running with the hard-driving "X-Ray Visions," another in a long line of energetic opening tracks in the band's storied career. The album is sprinkled with like-minded ditties, but it's when the band slows down a bit and re-connects with the sort of swagger that drove much of their 2000s output that the album really comes together. The ominous instrumental "Doom Saloon" gives way to the hypnotizing blues of "Our Lady of Electric Light," emphasizing that Clutch are, as they have always been, more than just a one-trick pony. Likewise, "Firebirds" and "A Quick Death in Texas" thread southern-rock into the onslaught so seamlessly it has to make the more-successful but less-creative cornballs currently dominating terrestrial rock radio airwaves jealous with envy to know that they will never be this good and that their success will likely fade before Clutch's next album cycle begins.

Short but sweet, "Psychic Warfare" re-affirms that Clutch are and always will be Clutch. Arguably one of the best (and most under-appreciated) rock bands of their era, Clutch are living proof that rock is not dead, it just is, as it has been for a long time, bubbling under the surface. If you are familiar with Clutch, you know what to do. Scoop up this album and try to wipe that grin off your face as you plow through it. If you are lamenting the current state of radio-rock and need a swift kick in the pants, "Psychic Warfare" will blow your mind.


SKULL RATING:
    
"Psychic Warfare" track listing and Skull rating for each song:
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 *****


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