Songs They Never Play On The Radio
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What do they sound like?
They are one of the hardest band to describe. Too metal for the Alternative kids, Too Alternative for the Metal kids. Their 1990 debut was too early for the Seattle revolution despite its mid-paced thunderous sound, then they went all punk and arty and druggy and eclectic on us.
Uncompromising. That sums it up, Kory Clarke their lead singer and main man has a great throaty rasp (think a very angry Psychedelic Furs) and strong beliefs, the band's bass lines and feel takes a lot from Joy Division (who they covered twice) and John Ricco is an unsung guitar player.
They are very loud, and at times very heavy. While Kory's lyrics cover politics, social issues, drinking, taking drugs, behaving badly and everything in between. They are intense in everything they do. And usually quite brilliant.
My Absolute favourite Warrior Soul songs:
The Losers (Last Decade Dead Century)
Trippin' On Ecstasy (Last Decade Dead Century)
Superpower Dreamland (Last Decade Dead Century)
Intro/Interzone (Drugs, God & The New Republic)
Drugs, God And The New Republic (Drugs, God & The New Republic)
The Wasteland (Drugs, God & The New Republic)
Ghetto Nation (demo version) (B Side of Hero single)
Punk And Belligerent (Salutations From The Ghetto Nation)
Ass-Kickin (Salutations From The Ghetto Nation)
Shock Um Down (Chill Pill)
Let's Get Wasted (Space Age Playboys)
The Pretty Faces (Space Age Playboys)
NYC Girl (Odds & Sods/Fucker)
Punk Rock N' Roll (Odds & Sods/Fucker)
Motor City (Chinese Democracy/Destroy The War Machine)
The 'Hero' Single features 2 brilliant unreleased tracks: 'Ghetto Nation' which is the demo of 'Salutations From The Ghetto Nation' and is FAR BETTER than the later album version. It also features a storming version of 'Twenty Four Hours' another Joy Division cover. And, dare I say, the second Warrior Soul cover of a Joy Division song that is BETTER than the original!!
The '(Love Is) The Drug' Single features more unreleased tracks:
'Moonage Daydream' - A Punked up arrogant version of Bowie's glam classic. I prefer this version. (And I love Bowie).
'Pump It Up' is an Elvis Costello cover, a straight forward thrash through a New Wave song. But a little too one-dimensional. I prefer the original.
Finally there is an unreleased Warrior Soul Song: 'I Just Wanna.....' which would fit well on the 'Drugs, God..' album. It has the sound of that album, but the attitude of the Space Age Playboys - punk spirit, fast paced and lasting over 8 minutes!! But still punk rock! A highly recommended find.
The hard to find rarities album (titled 'Odds & Sods' in America and 'Fucker' elsewhere features songs from every phase of the band. Some are straight forward punk, some are experimental and psychedelic, some defy description - so, much like Warrior Soul then!!
This CD also features the unreleased title track 'Last Decade Dead Century'.
If you can find it, it is a fascinating listen.
Warrior Soul Albums:
Sounding like no one else, Last Decade Dead Century (1990) is an undiscovered classic. HUGE thunderous sound, with Kory setting out his manifesto. It fitted in with no genre and was ahead of its time (Grunge kids would have LOVED it if they had existed and had Warrior Soul been from Seattle and not New York).
Drugs, God And The New Republic (1991) had a more stripped down sound - less bass, more treble. More post-punk sounding and with Joy Division seemingly an obvious influence. The songs were less formed than their debut and seemed a little rushed.
Salutaions From The Ghetto Nation (1992) had a slightly warmer production than the previous album and a bit of a 70's feel to it. It also hinted at their future directions - with outright Punk Rockers and Psychedelic Stoner Songs.
Chill Pill (1993) is a dissapointment. Far too much wierd druggy stuff going on. The Joy Division influences are still there, and there is the odd punk work out, but otherwise far too many meandering, wasted songs. Plus the quality of songwriting is not there.
Space Age Playboys (1994) - a new indie label (bye bye Geffen) and a new lease of life - PUNK ROCK N ROLL! My only worry is that this features a very different line up and was originally released as a DIFFERENT BAND - the Space Age Playboys!! But then someone realised that Warrior Soul had a fanbase and it was released under their name.
I love this album - it is punk rock, and post punk re-invented. Think The Psychedelic Furs with a Metal injection. Gone is the druggy haze, thankfully.
For whatever reason, Kory reformed the "Classic" Warrior Soul line up - but not the original one. And they re-recorded a collection of Warrior Soul songs, some of which only Kory had previously featured on. The debut album songs sound more raw and punkier, but no songs sound as good as the originals. 'We Are The Government is 'Intro' and 'Interzone' by Joy Division. It is nowhere near as good as the 'Drugs, God..' version.. You can never go back and you can never recapture.......
Chinese Democracy (2008)/Destroy The War Machine (2009) Kory assembles a new band and pisses off his old band mates. BUT it works. Oh yes! The two albums are the same tracks just under different titles (the first being a pop at Guns N Roses' still unreleased album). Here we get all the old topics of Warrior Soul songs mixed onto one album - the outspoken left-wing politics, the fuck-you attitude, the take-your-brains-out fun side - it's all here. And it's mostly fast, punk rock/metal and a good mix of all eras of Warrior Soul.
Kory Clarke has also released a solo album, 'Opium Hotel' and has a second coming soon - he says this is his "artier side". I'll say!! Very hard to get into for the average listener. Not one I can recommend.