Monday, March 28, 2016

Clutch - Psychic Warfare

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent*

Feuds.  Large or small, feuds begin for all kinds of reasons.  This article is about a feud that began not that long ago in Richmond, Virginia.  What makes this particular feud unique is that it involves the supernatural.  Yes, this is the sordid tale of two psychics at war. 

It goes without saying that this situation could have been easily avoided.  A small amount of market research on the part of Mr. Zoltan before moving to Richmond would have been all that was necessary to understand the local economy he would soon be joining.  Unfortunately he decided to set up shop and market his psychic abilities only three city blocks away from the well-established psychic storefront of Mr. Cayce.  This decision understandably upset Mr. Cayce, but only after Mr. Zoltan stole away members of Mr. Cayce's clientele did the feud begin.

One morning Mr. Zoltan arrived at work to find spirit catchers hung all across the outside of his shop.  Of course, being a psychic, he did not require any assistance finding the vandal.  In retaliation he broke into Mr. Cayce's place of business, replacing his tarot cards with an obscene novelty deck and substituting a scuffed bowling ball in place of his crystal orb.  Infuriated, Mr. Cayce decided to call in the big guns.  He escorted several well known local priests to Mr. Zoltan's place of business where they performed an overt, public exorcism of the building. 

Events escalated quickly after that.  Both psychics used telekinesis against one another, Mr. Cayce moving Mr. Zoltan's keys and belongings while Mr. Zoltan repeatedly turned the sign in Mr. Cayce's window to read "closed".  False readings were awarded freely to rival family members leading many to lose copious amounts of money on lotteries and pyramid schemes.  Marriages and long term romantic relationships ended abruptly based off of malicious advice.  School was abandoned.  Careers were thrown away.  It was madness!  Sheer madness!

After months of near-constant psychic sabotage the two rivals coexist in an uneasy truce.  Neither is willing to take direct action against the other, yet they are both plotting their next masterstroke behind closed doors.  The citizens of Richmond, alive and dead, can only wait and hope for a peaceful resolution to this ruinous feud.  Alas, resolution appears to be nowhere in sight.

Waveriders!  Brothers and sisters!  With these next sentences I speak not to you the converted, but to new initiates of the house of Clutch.  Yes!  Although it is difficult to fathom there remain in this world people who have yet to be exposed to the legendary exploits of our beloved rock 'n' roll institution.  Therefore my friends I ask that you understand when towards you I offer only a knowing wink and a nod, and instead focus my attention on drawing others into the warm, welcoming embrace of Psychic Warfare.  We'll fist bump later.

So you've never listened to a Clutch album?  Well hey, that's alright.  You're here now and that's what's important!  Let me give you some background.  Clutch has been around since 1991.  They have released eleven studio albums, a handful of EPs, several live albums, and two compilation records.  I'm telling you this not to make you feel shame or embarrassment, but instead to prepare you for the veritable gold mine you're about to discover.  This musical vein runs ridiculously deep!

What does Clutch sound like?  Good question.  The band's music has evolved over the years but I like to describe their sound as 70s-inspired hard rock/heavy metal.  What sets them apart from countless other bands that fall into that category?  Two things.  Incredible songs with unbelievably memorable riffs and grooves deeper than the Mariana Trench, and one of the best vocalists in rock 'n' roll.  With every bellow of his thunderous voice Neil Fallon adds an immense amount of power and conviction to these already potent compositions.

Psychic Warfare, the band's latest release, is the perfect place to get your feet wet and begin your new obsession.  The album is composed of a murderer's row of ten unrepentantly wicked songs.  Isolated for analysis there is not a less-than-compelling track in the bunch.  When joined together as intended however, they create a 40 minute block of pure, undiluted righteousness!  All the right boxes are checked on the answer sheet.  The riffs.  Oh lord, the riffs!  The tight musical interplay.  The fantastical lyrics.  The gargantuan choruses.  It's all there waiting for you to press play.

Waveriders, here's the simple truth.  Psychic Warfare is an absolute monster.  Pick up a copy of this album at your earliest convenience if you enjoy premium-grade rock 'n' roll.  Better yet, buy multiple copies!  You'll need them because once this album reaches your playback system of choice it's going to be impossible to remove.



mcwilliams132 said...

One of my favorite albums... every song is a knockout!

Jon (Monsterworks) said...

I could tell Penfold's style within the first few lines!

I am a relative newcomer to Clutch. Earth Rocker was my first, and I do believe it is a bit better than Psychic Warfare. Since then I have also picked up the first few, with the intention to listen chronologically from the beginning.

One thing we can agree on....Fallon's vocals. He is awesome. It is kind of like what Whiskey would sound like if it could sing.

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