Warrior Soul

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Last Decade Dead Century

Warrior Soul - Last Decade Dead Century ©1990 DGC
1. I See The Ruins
2. We Cry Out
3. The Losers
4. Downtown
5. Trippin' On Esctasy
6. One Minute Year
7. Superpower Dreamland
8. Charlie's Out Of Prison
9. Blown Away
10. Lullaby
11. In Conclusion

With the unspoken intentions of becoming the de facto voice of the generation, Warrior Soul's Kory Clarke burst onto the scene in 1990 with the dismally titled Last Decade Dead Century and created an album's worth of molten post-metal that may have either been a little ahead of its time or simply too steeped in realism and harsh perspective for fans to truly latch onto. Whatever got into Clarke's breakfast cereal appears in forceful and evocative lyrics. His songs touch the subjects of apocalyptic visions of societal decay, anthems to the so-called losers of the world and other many bummed out ideas that will put a damper on any festivity. The music throughout this record is incredibly tight and well conceived, cultivating influences from both metal and punk arenas and ultimately bringing forth a style that has feet in several genres. Guitarist John Ricco is particularly inventive in how he approaches songs from psychedelic leads in "Trippin' on Esctasy" to more grungy and dirty riff elsewhere in "Downtown" or jaunted rhythm collisions in "I see the Ruins". The powerful music helps push Warrior Soul beyond just the limitations of Clarke's sourpuss attitude. His singing voice is powerful, although somewhat lacking in technical finesse. However, it is that honesty of despair that makes it a very good voice at day's end. While the album seems to have been entirely passed over by a generation of young music fans who would ultimately care more for the self-indulgent trip of Kurt Cobain as their spokesman of angst, Last Decade Dead Century remains as a highly recommended foray into a world of ferocious truth and bitter honesty built on a foundation of creative music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2001

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Drugs, God & The New Republic

Warrior Soul - Drugs, God & The New Republic ©1991 DGC
1. Intro
2. Interzone
3. Drugs God And The New Republic
4. The Answer
5. Rocket 88
6. Jump For Joy
7. My Time
8. Real Thing
9. Man Must Live As One
10. Hero
11. The Wasteland
12. Children Of The Winter

With an exceptional and striking debut under the belts, Warrior Soul was poised to take on the big boys of post-metal with Drugs, God & the New Republic, but it seemed a monkey wrench was thrown into the works on the sophomore release. Blame it on band leader Kory Clarke's single minded obsession with bleak lyrics and a rather dejected outlook on society and existence. Blame it on a somewhat squashed production that thinned out the band's sound like bleeding water colors. Either way, Drugs, God & the New Republic is definitely a disappointment from the debut. While the CD contains quite a few excellent songs, the whole of the matter is incomplete and at the end of the day, a rather tedious journey through the conspiracies and morose tailings of Clarke's mind. Unlike doom metal, which creates a form of catharsis for the listener, Warrior Soul's music unfortunately became a misleadingly upbeat snapshot of the seedier side of reality. Most listeners probably had more than enough problems in their own lives to take on Clarke's visions of doom and decay. The result were several songs that brought down the more exciting numbers on the album.

On the plus side, the seamless opening two tracks ("Intro" and "Interzone"), "Rocket 88" and the fantastic lead guitar on the album's closer, "Children of the Winter", are marvellous. The tragic nature of Warrior Soul is when they were on, they were dead on and a precision drill into your ears. When these songs are nestled into unfortunate hibernation with some of the more plodding numbers (such as "Jump for Joy" or "The Answer"), it serves to annoy the listener more than anything. However, given that this CD seems to end up in many discount bins in the used CD stores, it does become something worth picking up for a scant few dollars. Warrior Soul never seemed to recover from their sophomore slump and further releases never did capture the excitement of the debut.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2001

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The Space Age Playboys

Warrior Soul - The Space Age Playboys ©1994 Music For Nations
1. Rocket Engines
2. The Drug
3. Let's Get Wasted
4. No No No
5. Television
6. The Pretty Faces
7. The Image
8. Rotten Soul
9. I Wanna Get Some
10. Look At You
11. Star Ride
12. Generation Graveyard
13. Fightin' The War

Warrior Soul started out the 90s as a somewhat promising hard rock act, putting out a pair of pretty good albums (Last Decade Dead Century and Drugs God and the New Republic) before completely falling flat on their faces. The following pair of releases were essentially entirely forgettable. Although there were a couple moderately passable songs on those albums, Warrior Soul essentially became a band that was easily to overlook. And because of that, 1994's The Space Age Playboys may have snuck past everyone without anyone bothering to check out the fact it's a really rocking, solid release. (Nor did it help that both the UK and US versions of this album feature unappealing artwork.)

Warrior Soul had gone through a few lineup changes (a revelation that's not very shocking) by the point of this 1994 release, but it apparently resulted in some good chemistry. The Space Age Playboys, in context of the already established grunge scene in the early 90s and the about-to-explode pop punk sound, is very unembellished and straight forward without any of the trappings of the more popular flavors of the day. Many bands in this time period tried to adapt to the changing musical winds (ie: thrash bands that shifted to groove/stomp metal), so it is a bit refreshing to hear a band avoid all that. Moreover, since earlier Warrior Soul tended to occasionally dwell in pretention, it's also pleasing to hear less of Kory Clarke trying to be gritty and profound. Instead, he just went for gritty.

As a result, The Space Age Playboys simply goes for energetic, upbeat, simple yet entirely catchy songs with a very good vocal performance from Clarke. And it just flat out works.

Considering the utterly unnecessary pair of releases that preceded it, The Space Age Playboys is a surprising lost gem of its time. It finally lives up to the promise of the first pair of releases. If you're looking for a very good hard rock record from the 90s that you might have missed the first time around, this one is worth seeking out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2011

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