There’s only one place to start, to be truthful with “Out On Bail” and its with track three. “Hip Hip Hurray”. It has one of the best, most striking choruses that you’ll hear in 2022.
It goes like this:
Hip Hip Hurray,
Trump died of Covid today.
Hip Hip Hurray
Freeze his body, put his kids in a cage.
Kory Clarke is the master of the sloganeering song too, and he finishes with a plaintive scream of “destroy the GOP!”
One of those songs where people go: “he didn’t just say that did he?” and the thing with Clarke is quite simple. He did. He loved it too. If you think he’s gone too far, its only so Kory can go further.
It’s been ever thus. In 1991 when the world was losing its shit over grunge his Warrior Soul released one of the greatest records of the period, a record that sounded nothing like anything else. It has on it “The Wasteland”. One of my favourite songs of all time. I listened to it today, actually (that one sticks the boot into Trump too, in a kind of prescient way) and instantly I was the 16 year old kid screaming “I am in the Wasteland, mama, you know its true, no motherfucker is gonna tell me what to do”, but rather more prosaically, its striking that the anger in those words (the LAPD, the President, consumerism) is still the same things he’s angry about now.
It’s striking too, just how the sound has remained something on its own, despite the almost constant line up changes.
Listen to the anthem for togetherness “We’re Alive” that kicks off “….Bail” and it could only be Warrior Soul. Clarke doesn’t sound like anyone else and neither does the band. The feeling that violence is merely seconds away is kind of punk rock, but this is not a punk band.
Instead, across these eight songs, WS are just a fabulous rock n roll band. “Back On The Road” talks about touring. In typical style its not Motley Crue and glamourous. No here “somebody did all the coke….again” (my money’s on Kory to be honest).
The title track is magnificent, incendiary stuff. Thrilling, like a turbocharged Chuck Berry (and thinking about it Chuck probably needed bailing himself, the big old pervert) and the bass groove for “Cancelled Culture” is filthy.
“End Of The World” has a kind of stab at doing something approaching balladry, and make no mistake about it, Clarke is a fine songwriter. The slower nature, though just means it recalls Prong or Helmet.
“YoYo” swaggers, and you can only conclude Clarke swaggers everywhere he goes, and “The New Paradigm” does a bit of Jim Morrison-esque poetry, and when the line “I had some fun, living free” you can bet that everyone here means it.
They are a strange dichotomy are Warrior Soul, though and as that song builds he basically lists a lot of things that piss him off (to be honest if I was writing songs I’d do the same) and that seems to sum up the band.
Ostensibly, they are hedonism made flesh. Snorting and shagging their way around the world, on the other, they elucidate an incredibly perceptive social conscience. I guess it was ever thus with Kory Clarke, and for damn sure he’s not asking your permission to do his own thing.