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New Music Review: WARRIOR SOUL “Tough as Fuck: Live in Athens”

1. Fuck The Pigs
2. Punk and Belligerent
3. The Drug
4. Let’s Get Wasted
5. Blown
6. No No No No
7. Shine Like It
8. Rotten Soul
9. Payback’s A Bitch
10. Generation Graveyard
11. Love Destruction
12. Downtown
13. Wasteland

Review-Warrior Soul is one of those bands that survives on the passion of the fanbase. Alcohol and anger are the two motivations for Kory Clarke to take a stage and showcase why this band was so ahead of its time. When Geffen Records went on their huge shopping spree, I have an idea that to sign Warrior Soul had more to do with filling a roster, than truly understanding what they were truly signing. Name another band in the 90’s, who consistently kicked out emotionally thought provoking hard rock classic albums. I can honestly say on Headbangers Ball when Tesla introduced “ We Cry Out” by Warrior Soul, by song end I was on my way to Tower Records. Where bands like Warrior Soul opened the eyes of a presidential hopeful named Bill Clinton to target the youth and twenty somethings. It is in a live setting that Kory Clarke really showcased what kind of passionate person he is. I can remember seeing Warrior Soul opening for Queensyrche. Three songs in the set, and Kory incited a riot telling people “ they are dying for nothing”. Instead of people listening to the man, and seeing the true meaning of what Reagan was about, people wanted to act smarter than they were and assume that the long haired hippie had to be spewing propaganda for perverted minds.

In the mid to late 90’s, the band had a rebirth and Iggy Pop was the inspiration. Clarke went from attacking politics to attacking the establishment. Warrior Soul went into the bleach, and out came the new punks. Kory Clarke has seen so much go down in his time, that to see him still standing, rocking out is not a miracle, it is insanity in its most beautiful form. 2016’s Warrior Soul is a little bit older and much wiser. This cd plays out like a greatest hits celebration with the nod to his solo work. Every Warrior Soul cd is represented except for Stiff Upper Lip and Odds and Ends. That would be something , to see a live cd that Kory dips into that library of Odds and Ends. Considering that he did change the words to “Rotten Soul” to “ Punk Rock N; Roll” and “ Gimme Some of This” to “ Check out the New Punk” on a few occasions in the past. Clarke does break up the seriousness of this album by his banter with the audience. It shows that the man appreciates the fans and he loves to take fun digs at them, and they love to deliver back on him. Where musicians these days are so protected and serious, it is a welcome relief to see him go back and forth.

The problem with this cd. We had a Warrior Soul live cd in late 2008, and now this one. I do not mind a band to release a live cd. The problem is that there are 6 of the same songs on both cds. As a Warrior Soul fan, I would have loved different songs. I get it that Warrior Soul have staple songs that have to be represented, but there are other songs that fans have wanted on cd live that do not exist. (Unless you have a bootleg) Where “ Live in England” sounded more polished, this album feels more raw. It feels you are in the front of the stage experiencing the show. To think, some of these songs are 27 years old and they still sound timeless to hear Kory tearing it up onstage. Kory while his vocals have a ton of road experience in them, he still can sell the emotion and impact of the song. You can tell Kory is excited about playing live. I will say, songs like “ Shine like It” sort of slow down the show to a point that you wished that the band would have put something like “ Innerzone” or “ Man Must Live as One”, to keep the momentum going.

I am not saying the song is bad and they should not have played it, it just seems like a weird choice to throw in this show. This cd sounds like a party, more than an event. It sounds like the band and the fans had a blast. I have to ask this, since Kory did not answer my interview yet, why are we not getting a live dvd? This has been rumored from the band since the “ Chill Pill” album. 22 years later, and we are still waiting. All in all, Kory Clarke is a musician who has seen so many changes in his direction. He has went from a political mouthpiece to the punk rock party master. He has fronted bands left and right and created some great solo projects. The sad reality is the music industry does not respect the man, and the fans he has truly are all wondering why. This cd is a must own for a die hard fan of the band. This is just fuck you all out passion. If, pain truly created the answer holy…Kory Clarke has rewritten the book many times of rock.

9 out of 10

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