2 years on from their covers opus ‘Cocaine And Other Good Stuff’, Warrior Soul return with a brand new album, the title inspired by their enigmatic singer’s past stint in the slammer.
The fact that Kory Clarke has been in trouble with the law may come as no surprise. The mouthpiece of Warrior Soul has been spitting bile for well over 30 years. A band well ahead of their time, Warrior Soul shoulda took the world by storm back in the early 90’s with their politically-charged diatribes and apocalyptical forewarnings, but sadly the world wasn’t ready for Kory’s metallic-tinged rage.
Band members have come and gone; some have sadly shifted off this mortal coil (RIP bassist Pete McClanahan) but the warrior remains…punk and belligerent to the end.
‘Out On Bail’ is a collection of 8 songs that has a running time of around 30 minutes. It has been self-produced by Kory and features a host of players in the ever-changing Warrior Soul lineup that currently includes Dennis Post on guitar and Christian Kimmett on bass. No less than 3 guitar players and a matching number of drummers (Kory even plays drums on one track) lend their talents to an album that was recorded during various lockdowns.
An atmospheric intro piece sets the cinematic vibe, before blasting into topical opener ‘We’re Alive’, a song that builds on urgent beats and that unmistakable 40-a-day gritty vocal that has certainly weathered over the years. The no-frills production suits the raw, punked-up vibe and this opener is a statement of intent for one of New York’s most outspoken sons.
‘One More For The Road’ recalls the Warrior Soul of old in both style and delivery. Road stories and past glories are all wrapped up in dirty riffage and crashing drums. It’s a hypnotic cacophony of new age noise, and we wouldn’t want it any other way, would we?
3 tracks in and ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ again takes us back to the early 90’s alt-metal sounds. A politically-themed diatribe set to crashing primal beats, sonically seductive guitars, and a trademark, anthemic Kory chorus that will remind you just how satisfying it can be to fist-punch the air along to a song! Somewhat ironically, the title track is an 80’s rock throwback. Featuring a familiar-sounding riff straight from the sunset strip, and an instantly addictive hook, it’s a song you can’t help but like. It has a ‘live in the studio’ feel and an AC/DC style finale that sits well.
Closer ‘The New Paradigm’ is Kory at his finest doing something a little bit leftfield. It builds on a stark yet hypnotic bass riff, Kory’s poetic lyric, and a guitar riff reminiscent of prime Jane’s Addiction. An atmospheric, alt-rock feel permeates throughout as the instrumentation ebbs and flows nicely, Kory’s sandpaper vocals leading us into the new world.
So, it’s pretty much business as usual for Warrior Soul in 2022. ‘Out On Bail’ is a solid, no-frills punk n’ roll album, just as you would expect it to be. A short, sharp shock to the system that is as raw, messy, and undiluted as its frontman. And while there is nothing here as exciting as my personal favourite ‘Space Age Playboys’ era of the band, it’s a satisfying listen from an artist who has weathered the storm, come out the other end fighting, and still has something to say.
Author: Ben Hughes