Clutch is back with a new album, unleashing Psychic Warfare on their legions of fans. They remain consistent, churning out a steady stream of rowdy rock and roll with a touch of blues while a deranged lead singer drops curious vocals with a nifty combo of grit and style. Clutch will never be as heavy as they once were, but this record is a bit more aggressive and a bit less somber than some of their groovier releases. There's some serious bravado on display here, and it cannot be denied that Psychic Warfare offers listeners a thumping good time with an emphasis on excess. Yet it still emerges as a far cry from Elephant Riders or the band's glorious self-titled album, so it's hard to review this one without penalizing Clutch for being so damn awesome once upon a when. Is new Clutch that much different from old Clutch? Well, while the band has always remained true to themselves, they have certainly grown over time. As musicians, these guys are truly top-notch, and they are better at what they do now then they were back then. However, there was something damn near primal about those unruly days when the sound was a bit more raw and everyone was a bit angrier (and the lyrics were a bit sillier) that has proven difficult to replace. Having said all that, this is probably my favorite album that Clutch has released since Elephant Riders and it is a real kick in the pants. I love "X-Ray Visions," "Firebirds," and the semi-operatic "Son of Virginia," and there isn't a song on Psychic Warfare that doesn't work. It's a quality recording that is worthy of the band's legacy even if it is a bit overshadowed by those monumental releases that still define these unique rockers from Maryland.
Final Grade: B
|Clutch is back with another rad record. unleashing Psychic Warfare on eager listeners.|