Let’s face the facts: there’s no such thing as a bad album from The Clay People. Our only gripe over the years has been consistency. The songs are there and the musicianship is definitely there but there’s just something in the execution with the album sequence that tends to drop the momentum after the first blast of songs. 2018’s Demon Hero… fixed that glitch in the system and now, with Cult Hypnotica, The Clay People stand on the precipice of some long awaited and much deserved greatness.
But I digress.
It’s been four long years since The Clay People’s resurgence in 2018 and if anything, their newest slab of Industrial-tinged heaviness is a testament to their endurance throughout a global pandemic and throughout an ever-changing music industry. Cult Hypnotica is easily the most focused and most intense record from The Clay people to date and, to be honest, might be their absolute best.
“The Drugs (Are Not Working)” is immediately recognizable as The Clay People with Dan Dinsmore’s unholy drumming piercing the silence as Jared Weed and Brian McGarvey’s riffs chime in and the gruff bark of Dan Neet responds in kind. The track is frenetic and furious and it’s as much an album opener as it is a subtle reintroduction to the sonic artistry of The Clay People. “Radio V” just goes all in with a big wall of riffage hurled at listeners with blistering solos to boot with Neet’s barely restrained delivery matching Dinsmore’s bouncing cadence and then instrumental “Just Drink It” embraces the band’s Industrial/Electro/Slipdisc Records roots before the bombastic might of “Cult Hypnotic” offers up the next live staple in The Clay People’s already impressive musical arsenal.
“House Of Secrets” begins amidst a burgeoning buzz from McGarvey and Weed then adds synthetic layers with Dinsmore slamming away behind the kit as Neet’s broad bark pops off. And we swear we’re not repeating the same sentence over and over but “Turn Me On” is ANOTHER wall of sound from the New York-based badasses with this one leaning into a particularly massive pummeling with Neet echoing the sentiment and adopting a Phil Anselmo-like scream to start before moving into Metal hymnal terrain with the vicious vocalist atop the pulpit.
“She Loves” is the FIRST track on here to slow down and that’s only briefly during the intro before morphing into a vibrant Electro Metal dance if you will in the way that Ultraspank (Remember them???) used to do so well, “Victoria Queen” follows suit with a mega anthem that’s a start/stop romp that flows and fights hard for a solid four minutes, and “Destroy All Humans” is just plain sinister and slays from start to finish.
“Psychic Suicide” is a straight up slammer with Eric Braymer’s bass work expertly weaving in and out the nascent noise while “Zero Hour” is a rolling groove-filled Rawk out that taps into the early days of The Clay People, coming off as a more organic take on Stone-Ten Stitches. “The Legend Of Mr Boots” is a steady goin’ riff monster that has more in common with Metallica than it does Ministry with “Wake & Rise” nicely flowing out of that ditty as Dinsmore’s distinct drumming lays down some staccato attacks amidst a chug-a-chug steamroller of shred from Weed and McGarvey with Neet acting like the ringmaster and rallying the troops, ending the song with the fitting mantra of “Stay Vigilant/Stay Calm” which is especially poignant in these trying times.