Kory recaptures the glory

A record that sees its first track end with the words: “fuck you, I am the American Idol” ends with the words “you can’t save rock n roll”. And somehow, on both counts Kory Clarke has got it wrong.

In fairness, on the first statement he should be right. Ever since the days when he decided that being the drummer in all kinds of bands wasn’t enough Kory Clarke has been as rock n roll as it gets.

Lars Ulrich once said of him “Kory Clarke should be considered [as], and is, one of the great Rock Stars of all time along with Bon Scott, Axl Rose and Michael Monroe.” And maybe, he’s right. Certainly, there is the feeling of absolute and complete hedonism about this.

“I Get Fucked Up” would in other hands be something a little airheaded, but here, with Clarke sneering that he drinks to avoid “the fascist 9/11 lies” (he also wages war on the “biggest dicks on Wall St” and “Country Club assholes”) it is clear that it is a little more than just another punk rock song. It is that too, of course, but that’s always been the way with the best of Clarke’s work – “The Wasteland” in 1991 was a wonderful example of this – and there are many more.

The title track, which comes complete with the opening line: “last night’s hard to remember, but I am sure I was a smash” hides it’s message that it is tricky to adjust to real life from the road with its nihilistic thought “crash, crash, let’s get smashed.”

The mid-paced “Further Decay” is a chance for reflection, a warning of the perils elsewhere in the lyrics perhaps, that said, “Thrill Seeker” is everything you’d want and more. As snotty as you like, it sees everyone dropping E’s and “sleeping with whores” as often as they please.

“Going Broke” has a kind of Sabbath vibe about it. The insistent urgency, the fuzzy licks. It just ensures there are no let ups here. “Black Out” is like Judas Priest at their most rock n roll and is almost an updated version of Love/Hate’s classic “Blackout In The Red Room.”

One of the best, though, is “I Got The Rock”. Clarke gives his war stories from the road – and in the way he delivers them would make Lemmy proud as he sips on a JD from wherever he is. Like the last song here says, “that’s how we roll.”

“Back On The Lash” is the best Warrior Soul record in Lord knows how long. It is the best thing Kory Clarke has been involved in since the Space Age Playboys record in 1994. It is also why we would respectfully suggest that he’s wrong on the second point. You can save rock n roll. If records like this exist, that is.

Rating 9/10