“I fucking love Kory Clarke.”

There we are folks; I just felt I needed to get that off my chest and nail my flag to the pole with this review from the off.

You see it’s almost impossible for me to feel any other way about a man who with Warrior Soul has  released some of the most important politically charged metal our generation has ever had the honour of hearing plus along the way he’s also given us one of the greatest glam punk albums I’ve ever heard in the shape of ‘The Space Age Playboys’. This is an artist who is always reinventing himself and always looking for boundaries he can break down in the process. He’s also as cantankerous as fuck, and I kinda like that in my rock stars.

With this in mind then I’m almost embarrassed to admit that after many hours spent in the company of ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ (the band’s 10th studio album to date) I’m still kinda left scratching my head a little.

I’ve lapped up everything Kory has released since getting Warrior Soul back on the road and with their last album ‘Back On The Lash’ I was left in awe of the power and energy the band had managed to cram into that release’s 9 tracks. Warrior Soul really had never sounded so vibrant or essential.

With the PR blurb for ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ proudly proclaiming that Kory had used the same team behind ‘Back On The Lash’ to deliver this 8 tracker and with the man himself declaring it to have the loose vibe of its predecessor but with everything pushed to “over the top”, you’ll forgive me if I admit to letting out a little squeal of excitement at the prospect of what might be.

Then, why after all of this and after listening to this half hour of all new music from Warrior Soul am I still not feeling the same buzz as I did when I first heard ‘Lash’?

Opener ‘Up The Dose’ is a magnificent way to start a record, it’s an immediate right hook to the jaw just to get you interested, and indeed it’s very much a continuation of the strutting cock ‘n’ roll that made ‘Lash’ such an instant hit with me. Here Kory screeches like a wild cat and everything in the Warrior world seems fine. Likewise, on tracks like ‘Off My Face’ (which is probably my favourite track here), ‘War Ride Children’ and ‘After The Show’ the band certainly rip along at a fair rate of knots. It’s just that with repeated listens I get a little perplexed that the bottom end needed to actually force this fucker down your throat seems just a little lacking. Yes Kory turns in a mighty fine performance as does the band, but I can’t help but wonder what the hell has happened to the drums? They pinned you to the wall on ‘Lash’ but here they appear somewhat muted, and given that Kory himself is a very fine drummer this comes as something of a surprise, and yes for me it’s a frustration, albeit a small one.

This is still very much a Warrior Soul record though and that alone makes it better than 99% of the beige shite that pollutes the metal/classic world right now, it’s just that right now I’m simply not warming to it as instantly as I have with the likes of ‘Destroy the War Machine’, ’Stiff Middle Finger’ and ‘Back On The Lash’, all of which I consider to be up there with the band’s much revered first four studio albums.

Perhaps I just need to stop being such a pernickety old sod and simply go down a few cold ones whilst listening to ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ at maximum volume like I imagine Kory would demand me to, because after all I love Warrior Soul and I love Kory Clarke and a world without either would certainly be a very boring place indeed.

‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ is released via Live Wire/Cargo Records on 7th June 2019.

Author: Johnny Hayward

Buy ‘Rock n Roll Disease’ Here