When they burst onto the scene at the very first nineties, WARRIOR SOUL was like a kick in the face for many.
Founded by corrosive frontman Kory Clarke, their first politically charged album 1990′s Last Decade Dead Century was a critical sensation, especially in the UK, where listeners readily embraced the band’s insurrectionist rantings as the next big thing.
But the metallic hard rock sound Clarke chosen as his vehicle for scream about justice ultimately lost out to the grunge advent. After a solo adventure, in 2007 Clarke revived Warrior Soul with a new batch of musicians, set out an Euro tour and released a limited edition album.
Now Warrior Soul is returning with the new album “Stiff Middle Finger”, backed by a solid label and plans to tour the world extensively.
It’s been a whole lot of water under the bridge for everyone in the last twenty odd years, and there are different musicians making up Warrior Soul these days.
But one thing that has never changed and never faltered is the undying passion, the magnetism and undoubtable charisma of Kory Clarke, a creatively charged one man revolution with an unquenchable thirst for life and a perennial ‘fuck off’ to the corrupt system.
Kory Clarke cares; and on this new album, ‘Stiff Middle Finger’, his frustration and anger at the injustices in our so called ‘democracies’ is laid bare for all to witness.
Perhaps the track “2012″ is the best way to describe Kory’s manifesto on this recording, an apocalyptic tale listing his and our common enemies, from ‘bullshit prime ministers, Wall Street slime, pharmaceutical wankers’ right down to ‘airport security douchebag cunts’… you get the picture?
But musically that song is dark and almost minimalistic, while the rest of the album is founded on melting riffs and – sometimes – a really smashing, hard hitting rhythm section.
“A Drink To All My Friends” sports the trademark Warrior Soul sound, the spaced out, fuzz encrusted harmonic riffs that saw his band originally labelled as ‘acid punks’ is still as exciting and fresh as it was all those years ago.
A classic early Warrior Soul sound is again all over “Rubikon” where Kory lyrically describes his vision of the New Republic he once told of, and that we should really all be dreaming about.
“Sparkle Baby” continues the rock ‘n’ roll party in more anthemic style, before “Tear” crashes out of the speakers ferociously, both holding some very impressive guitar breaks within their perimeters.
The most ‘angry’, heavily politically charged and call-to-arms tracks are the brooding, lumbering seven minute monster “Light Your Bonfires” and the uprising “Planetary Revolution” with Kory declaring ‘we’re gonna find you, we’re gonna burn you’, all delivered in his typical, meaningful, throaty rasp that’s maturing all the while like whiskey in an oak barrel.
Opener “Occupy” also carries the theme along on a much more sonic level, intoxicating and thought provoking, it also houses the first of some really impressive guitar work to be found throughout the album.
“Junky Stripper” keeps the record rocking along in fine fashion with a song as throwaway as you’ll find in Clarke’s locker, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happily bump and grind away on a riff that’s dirtier and tighter than its subject matter.
In “Stiff Middle Finger” Kory Clarke endeavours to create, when he could be forgiven for resting on former glories the way a lot of his peers have, but that was never the point of this particular and charismatic artist.
Creativity burns at the very core of Clarke’s gut as ferociously as it ever has done; it is, and always has been, the very basis of his appeal, and as music fans in the sub-culture of rock ‘n’ roll we should join together and celebrate that.
These songs are lyrically sharp and mordant, sonically agressive, furious, but never resigning their rock ‘n roll essence.
As usual, “Stiff Middle Finger” is a rockin’, provocative and challenging album by Warrior Soul.
01 – Occupy
02 – Planetary Revolution
03 – Wall Street
04 – Junky Stripper
05 – A Drink To All My Friends
06 – 2012
07 – Tear
08 – Sparkle Baby
09 – Rubicon
10 – Light Your Bonfires
Kory Clarke – Vocals
Johnny H – Guitar
Rille Lundell – Guitar
Freddie Cocker Kvarnebrink – Drums
Danny Engström – Bass
John Ricco (ex- Warrior Soul) – Guitar
Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission) – Guitar
BUY IT !