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Clutch – Psychic Warfare Tour 2017

The Sword

May 16

8:00 pm

Doors 7 pm | Show 8 pm
$30 Advance | $35 Day Of
$37.50 Reserved Mezz

It’s the parabolic motion of projectiles. Or, as Isaac Newton stated, what goes up must
come down — that is, everything except Clutch.

Earth Rocker created an insurmountable peak. But Psychic Warfare has altered laws of
physics by elevating the smart songwriting and impressive performances of that last
album, setting an even higher benchmark as their now-definitive album to date.
The eleventh Clutch studio album Psychic Warfare goes straight for the throat with “XRay
Visions” and never lets go. Working again with acclaimed producer Machine, this
time in Texas, the concise arrangements that made Earth Rocker so assertive is the same
harness for the combustible musical energy on Psychic Warfare. Harder, faster… let the
rhythm hit ’em.

Formed in 1991, the Maryland-based band’s ability to absorb different musical styles and
fabricate them into a distinct Clutch sound continues to be their forté. “A Quick Death In
Texas,” overstocked with signature “Clutch heavy” Tim Sult riffs and lonesome guitar
licks, and the funk undercurrent of “Your Love Is Incarceration,” color Psychic Warfare
with articulate musicality and comfortable familiarity.

The overall intensity of Psychic Warfare would be self-consuming without the pressure
valve of a canny rhythm section. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist Dan Maines
have an intuitive sense of dynamics that gives weight and contrast to the forcefulness of
the vocals, steering Clutch into the straightaway out of tight, exhilarating corners.

Psychic Warfare is cinematic, a soundtrack to the plot of singer Neil Fallon’s imagination.
The narrative of “The Affidavit” sets the scene for an album of gunslingers, energy
weapons, paranoid neurosis, and the occasional three-legged mule. It’s an episodic lyrical
landscape populated by abstract characterization, nuance, and clever peculiarity.
“I spent a lot of time doting over the lyrics,” Fallon says. “It was fun because I have a
great luxury that I’m a professional liar — that’s what a storyteller is. Or at least that’s
what I try to be. It’s the one socially acceptable way to completely deceive people, and
that’s what they want. If you sing it with enough conviction, people won’t question it. I
just love that escapism, the fantasy aspect of it. And fantasy doesn’t necessarily equate to
dragons and wizards. It can be seedy hotel rooms and sketchy hitchhikers.”

Gaster says the band knowing Earth Rocker was such a high water mark put them in a
position of needing to follow up with an exceptional album. “Looking back on the
process, one thing that sticks out in my mind is the amount of rehearsal the band put in.
We started each pre-production day by writing out a new album sequence and then
playing that sequence straight thru as if it were a set list. I think this allowed us to get
inside the songs in a way we had not done before. When it came time to record drum
tracks, I had a clear idea of how I wanted to play each song.”

In the past, Clutch consciously made each album conspicuously different from the last
one. “We had a sadistic fear of repeating ourselves,” Fallon admits. “But over the last few
years, we’ve realized our strengths and what it is that people like about us. Why deny it?
Clutch is Clutch, embrace what you are.”

The bar is set higher, laws of physics be damned. Psychic Warfare is the new adventure,
and it has no limit.

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