I’m expanding my horizons. Rock and roll isn’t dead (seems to be the tagline of today), but it’s harder to find maybe. So far this year, I commented recently, that there were very few releases with that “wow” factor. I like a high energy, head-banging, fist-pumping, foot-to-the-floor flavour to my preferred tunes. I started to look places I normally wouldn’t. Found a few real gems that way. For instance, is Warrior Soul a “go to band” for me? No. Do I know who they are? Yeah, I have an album… somewhere. I recall seeing Warrior Soul open for Queensryche on I think the Empire tour. Back in those days, I didn’t take well to the stage setters, especially if I didn’t know the music. And so, I was not left with a good taste from Warrior Soul. And just like the shards of flying glass as a mirror shatters did that silly preconceived notion after taking a listen to Warrior Soul – Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease out June 7, 2019, via Livewire/Cargo Records UK and Rock ‘n’ Growl Promotions. I’ve done the band an injustice, and time to right the wrong!
Warrior Soul mini bio…
If believing Wikipedia is the right thing to do, here’s some history on Warrior Soul for those like me that are new-ish to the band. Formed by vocalist Kory Clarke (ex-Raging Slab) after a solo performance art show on a bet from a promoter. Within nine months of formation, Warrior Soul signed to Geffen Records. The debut Warrior Soul album, Last Decade Dead Century arrived in 1990. In 1991 was Drugs, God and the New Republic and Salutations from the Ghetto Nation in 1992. Bitterness between Clarke and Geffen saw him become outspoken against the label, claiming that 1993’s Chill Pill album “had been botched on purpose to fulfill the contract”. 1994 saw Warrior Soul released from Geffen Records.
The Space Age Playboys album came in 1995 on an independent label. On the departure of some members, Clarke decided to retire the band at the end of 1995’s live gigs. A collection of demos and leftover material made up 1996’s Odds & Ends release. In 2000 the “classic” lineup re-recorded twelve songs for the Classics album. In 2007 Kory Clarke re-started Warrior Soul releasing Destroy the War Machine in 2009. With an ever-changing lineup, Stiff Middle Finger dropped in 2012 and the 2016 Tough As Fuck live album saw more lineup adjustments. Another new roster issued Back on the Lash in 2017, but that same crew is back for Warrior Soul – Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease!
WARRIOR SOUL – Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease
Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease bursts out of the corral with “Up the Dose”. From the off my fist was itching to smash the stratosphere. How awesome this blood-pumper would be live. With a sing-along-able chorus, it blasts along for about four minutes, Kory Clarke‘s scratchy, growly vocals leading the charge. Fuck that, I gotta play that track again! The title track ups the pace with its faster than speeding bullets attitude and overflowing with sleaze. Do we need to hit replay again, I think maybe we do.
“Off My Face” begins with Kory‘s signature vocals ahead of the band joining in. The track maintains the vibe featuring a shoutable gang vocal chorus begging you to chant along. Another that I imagine being a veritable abuser in concert! Great stuff. But it’s track #4, “Melt Down”, that really knocks the “Dick in the dirt”. A building bassline rumble greets you first as the track opens out full speed, smashing along for better than five minutes.
The latter half of Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease does not let off the gas pedal at all! A bluesier groovy feeling creeps in via “Rock On”. Featured in “War Ride Children” is an infectious guitar “widdly” hook that just says “hello”. A definite earworm. Nearing the end of the ride, I can’t help but wonder if things can get any better than these six storming tracks. Damn right it does! “Going Mental” features a breakneck pace and toe-tapping groove that ought to have you out of your seat if you’re not already there. To wrap things up, at under three minutes, “After the Show” takes care of business quickly…with some Canadian whiskey too!
Overall this is a great spin! Filled with beefy riffs, signature scratchy growling vocals, thunderous basslines, and enough anger to keep the energy level off the charts. Too bad it’s only eight songs in length, could have used another one or two to be a proper album. Nevertheless, I’ll be surprised if this one doesn’t place in my top ten albums of the year list! Time to go shopping for the back catalogue.
Find more of my album reviews here: Meister Music