Album Review: Warrior Soul – “Stiff Middle Finger”
Some twenty plus years and seven albums since Warrior Soul’s debut “Last Decade Dead Century” and it’s fair to say that Kory Clarke shows no sign of mellowing out with age. Then again, many would argue that’s for the best. These days with the worldwide political system circling the proverbial bowl, we arguably need angry firebrand rockers like Clarke more than ever. And “Stiff Middle Finger” is a commendably strong effort.
Kicking into gear with the slow-building anger of “Occupy”, raising its fist in solidarity with those who sat in freezing tents outside Stock Exchanges worldwide to voice their disapproval at the behaviour of the financial sector, it’s clear that Clarke still isn’t afraid to tackle subjects that a depressingly large amount of bands tend to shy away from these days for fear of hurting their record sales. The anthemic “Planetary Revolution” and the scathing “Wall Street” continue the vein. Clarke’s voice may be a lot rougher than back in the band’s early ’90s heyday but he still talks a good fight and for that he deserves to be commended. Behind him, the group’s current line-up keep things impressively tight and heavy throughout with plenty of riffs to get your head nodding along. They aren’t afraid of a bit of variety as well as the almost trip-hop-metal slow building fury of “2012” testifies.
It isn’t all non-stop political brow-beating though – “Junky Stripper” is a cautionary ode to the sort of bad news girls that some rock ‘n’ rollers attract while “Sparkle Baby” is a furious rant against liggers and dealers who latch on to bands on the road but Warrior Soul still sound at their best when railing against the corrupt politicians and bankers responsible for getting us all into this mess as evidenced by awesome closer “Light Your Bonfires” which builds from a quiet acoustic intro into a fist-clenching rally cry for revolution and stands out as the strongest track on the album.
“Stiff Middle Finger” shows that Kory and his crew have got plenty of fuel left in their tank both lyrically and musically and shows that Warrior Soul are still very much a band with a lot to say in 2013. It’s good to have them back.