Warrior Soul – Out On Bail

Out On Bail Album Cover Art

Warrior Soul – Out On Bail (after being sentenced to imprisonment for crimes against music)
Livewire/ Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 04.03.22
Running Time: Too bastard long (33:36)
Review by Dark Juan
Score: Just don’t fucking bother, OK? The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System doesn’t go below -10,000,000/10. It’s been broken. Thaaaaaanks, Warrior Soul.

There are times I think that fate is out to get me. Whether it was the black Vauxhall Astra that tried T-boning me from a side-street this morning, provoking what can only be described as a sage and responsible and polite exchange of views with the “driver” of it or the fact that the august and otherwise sensible Beth “You’ll Pay For Your Crimes In Whatever Manner I See Fit, You Massive Twat” Jones assigned me this pile of foetid rat wank to review, it does sometimes feel that Dark Juan is on to a bit of a loser. However, Dark Juan is not cowed by poor fortune (and a VERY poor monetary fortune) and has risen above the horror of the past 48 hours at work (one of my young gentlemen refused to be effectively wrangled and also refused to understand just why a 1922 Chateau Yquem is an excellent accompaniment to a meat course, leading to a disagreement that lasted several hours and some mild bruising on my part. He’s from an affluent area and INSISTS on addressing me as “Blood” or “Fam”, or even more horrifically, “Famalam”. I am NO-ONE’S fucking famalam and I am not from fucking Tower bastard Hamlets. I am in fact excruciatingly white and Northern) to bring you this exquisitely crafted review of… sigh… Warrior bloody Soul.

Warrior Soul. A band that released a passable record in the early Nineties and appear to have been fooled into thinking that the difficult second album can be put off indefinitely by releasing hare-brained, turgid, “gritty” rock and roll platters on a regular basis, with vocals (I hesitate to call it singing) from a man who looks like he should live on a low-rent Florida trailer park and sounds like the Marlboro Red habit is going to cause health issues to him very soon. He also writes lyrics that are fucking stuck in hair metal heaven, chock full of bone-headed sex and meaningless, unimpressive swaggering. Kory, drugs ain’t fucking cool and when you’re a fifty-something man who performs (judging by the EPK picture I have of him) in a pair of trousers BADLY in need of repair, you frankly just make yourself look like a bit of a tit. In fact, you’re the kind of man who teenage Dark Juan used to mock and revile in Jilly’s Rockworld back in the Nineties. The old one who would be wearing tight blue Levi jeans, and the original Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow t-shirt, barely covering their expanding paunch and still trying to get off with the young ladies who were obviously and vocally repulsed by them. Drug references and howling about how rock and roll you are so fucking out of date it’s nearly as cringeworthy as being called “Famalam” by a white teenager whose home village has a fucking Rolls-Royce dealership in the middle of it. Especially when you’re old enough to be someone’s fucking grandad. Grow up, lad. 

Surprisingly, there is a passable song on “Out On Bail” (even the fucking title of the album is so banal it has made my nose bleed), ruined only by the cracked and damaged vocals of Kory Clarke and that song is ‘End Of The World’ – which rattles along quite nicely on a grungy sort of a vibe, with lyrics that eschew the normal drink / drugs / shagging / any combination of the three subject matter that dear old Kory normally employs. Clearly a moment of clarity was had and the lyrics are timely and accurate, especially around the current unpleasantness in the world. However, Kory undoes all the good work he’s done with this song by coming up with the fucking GEM of a lyric I have reproduced below:

“I’ll meet you in the lobby.
Someone’s done all the coke again,
Or maybe it was a robbery… yeah…”

Oh my good lord, Satan. I heard that lyric and physically felt my IQ drop into some kind of extra-dimensional black hole. Then I went and beat a child to get rid of the rage I felt after having my intelligence insulted so gravely. Then I called everyone “Fam” for several hours because it was that stupendously dumb and it had reduced my mental capacity to that of a white boy thinking he’s a grime rapper and from da streetz, when he actually comes from Ascot. This was from the second track in, entitled ‘One More For The Road’. Of course it is…

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually beat a child. Or anything.

Can I also point out that Kory Clarke doesn’t appear to be able to vocalise (I’m still not calling it singing) in tune? ‘Yo-Yo’ (correctly hyphenated) being a classic example of this as he caterwauls brokenly through multiple keys and basically turns the ears of the unfortunate listener to minced meat. “The New Paradigm” also shows this off to good advantage, being a particularly (and spectacularly) shit power ballad where Kory gets serious after putting down the Jack Daniels and running out of cocaine and whores. Regular readers of my bullshit will know that I have an extreme and deep-seated hatred of power ballads, viewing them as filler at best and having a rigid system of belief about them (‘18 And Life’ by Skid Row is the second best power ballad ever written, after Heart’s ‘Alone’ mainly because they don’t have the glorious voice that Ann Wilson has) and that they are a transparent and obvious attempt at a lighter waving hit chant-a-long record or the long suffering spouse of the rock star has finally had enough of the heroin binges, endless parties and all-encompassing egotism and fucked off with that nice Spanish gardener, Enrique, who works hard, isn’t a has-been waste of space in dodgy trousers, doesn’t have a drug habit and a face like it’s been hit by a poorly parked Volkswagen, and is generally kind and attentive and not a swaggering dickhead, therefore prompting a lament for their lost love. Or in the case of Tenacious D, the Metal. Thankfully, ‘The New Paradigm’ was the last song and I don’t have to listen to it anymore. Mrs Dark Juan has been vastly amused by my physical cringing as I managed to tick off even more boxes on the rock and roll cliché bingo I always play with myself when I listen to Warrior Soul. 

Mention of jail – Check.
Drug references – Check.
Surviving – Fucking Check.
Living the lifestyle of rock and roll – Oh, yes. Checkety check check.
Being on the road – Yawn. Check.
Extraneous “Baby” in the lyrics– Yes, indeed. Check-a-rama, baby.

BONUS ROUND! – “Yeah!” – Liberal checking going on right now!

Even the opening song on this record is poor as fuck. ‘We’re Alive’ starts with the tolling of a bell (for the remnants of my sanity as it was compromised severely after a mere one minute and forty-one seconds) before an ill-timed riff has absolutely fuck-all to do with the drumming until the rest of the band pull themselves together and start playing properly. The band aren’t too bad, though and they are very poorly served by their, ahem… vocalist. Because he can’t FUCKING SING!!!!!

The production on the album is also exactly as previous Warrior Soul releases. I knew just from the sound of it that Kory Clarke produced the fucking thing. His ruined, excruciating voice is massively forward in the mix to the detriment of EVERYONE ELSE and the guitars far, far too low. At least the drums and bass are audible and snappy, but I rather think that was by accident rather than by design. The blurb that came with this… product, claims that Kory Clarke is one of rock’s “Most prolific, prophetic and controversial songwriters”. He really isn’t. “Put your hands together, because we’re rocking out” is a sample of the quality of controversy on offer, unless you class lyrics that Poison would have rejected for being outdated and misogynist in 1990 as controversial, and they wrote ‘Unskinny Bop’. Neither is he a fucking prophet. He’s a fucking dinosaur. Wading through a sea of retarded sexuality, singing about drugs and booze and pretending you’re hard aren’t controversial. It makes you sound like a fucking colossal knobjockey. This kind of misguided toxic masculinity just makes me want to puke and it cheapens the music I have given my life to listening to. We have come so much further than where Warrior Soul are still.

It really upsets me that ‘End Of The World’ is on this album because it is a good song and I’d be excited if that was the basis of Warrior Soul’s sound. But it isn’t. The well-worn rock cliché show just keeps on coming back and Clarke’s vocal on ‘Yo-Yo’ is particularly unpleasant when he’s trying to hold notes on the pre-chorus. He wobbles all over the fucking place and is screamingly off-key and… and… and…

I’ve run out of words. I want to kill this record’s siblings in a curiously misplaced act of vengeance for ever having heard it. I hate it on a molecular level. I even listened to it twice, dear, valued readers, to make sure it wasn’t my prejudices talking. It wasn’t. Warrior Soul are truly, desperately shite.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System cannot be fucking arsed because it knew exactly what was going to happen within twenty-seven seconds of the opening song starting. It refuses to give Warrior Soul a score that doesn’t make a mockery of the Ever-Metal.com scoring system. Thank fuck there is ample booze in the house to blot out the horror via the medium of medicinal drinking.

Dark Juan and The Blood Splat Rating System do agree with Kory Clarke on one thing, you’ll be surprised to know, and that is that we all share a desire to see the destruction of the GOP. Especially with that fucking mangled apricot hellbeast Trump involved with it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. We’re Alive (For the love of God, no)
02. One More For The Road (For some reason this title keeps reminding me of Boz Scaggs’ “Lido Shuffle”)
03. Hip Hip Hurray (I left the horrible spelling intact even though it should be hooray. Yes, I am a grammar Nazi.)
04. Out On Bail (I really wish they weren’t by this point of the record)
05. Cancelled Culture (I still can’t work out whether Kory is feeling cancelled or he is lamenting culture being eradicated because of cancel culture)
06. End Of The World (I wish it would fucking hurry up, right now)
07. Yo-Yo (Wasn’t this a female rapper signed to East West Records ages ago?)
08. The New Paradigm (Ah, brings back memories of good old Warzone 2100 on the PC, back in the day)

LINE-UP:
Kory Clarke – Vocals, Drums on ‘One More For The Road’Dennis ‘El Guapo’ Post – Guitars
Christian Kimmett – Bass
Ivan Tambac – Drums on ‘The New Paradigm’, ‘End Of The World’
John Besser – Drums on ‘We’re Alive’, ‘Hip Hip Hurray’, ‘Out On Bail’, ‘Cancelled Culture’, ‘Yo-Yo’
John ‘Baby H’ Hodgson – Guitars on ‘Out On Bail’
Adam Arling – Guitars on ‘We’re Alive’, ‘The New Paradigm’
John ‘Full Throttle’ Polachek – Guitars on ‘One More For The Road’, ‘Cancelled
Culture’
Maria Hatzina – Special Guest Vocals on ‘Hip Hip Hurray’

LINKS:

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