Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Psychic Teens : "Come"

This band from Philly describes their sound as "like that time you spotted your creepy metalhead brother at 80s night" Sure there is a noise rocky - post punk element that doesn't place seem outside the neighborhood of say the Jesus Lizard influenced Pop 1280...or even Beastmilk. The shoe gaze banner they claim to fly is more unfounded. And to say goth well... around these parts the bar is raised pretty high on that one, though the come as close to capturing it as say A Place to Bury Stranger's darker moments.

If find myself having to re-listen to the opening track to try to figure out what it is that hooks you into all the pieces that so awkwardly fit. The drums and bass throb together, as the vocals take a monotone Iggy Pop approach and ride the dissonance. It never congeals melodically, but I have kept listening to get my head around it so it must be doing something right. The sonics gel into a more focused attack on "Rip". Their is a similar helter skelter approach to sonically driving verses, that are allowed to breath a little more on the choruses. The vocals are the only thing that keep the post- in the post punk here.

Things get darker and heavier on "H#ate". It almost sounds like a hard version of Jesus and the Mary Chain. This has a powerful delivery on some of the more driving riffs, but the punk elements keep the dynamic range in varied shade of driving the assault forward, where the new Beastmilk has a better melodic sense to it.

Like Beastmilk, the guitar some times lets you breathe taking a more surf rock route as they coast on the reverb. The verse on " Lust" lets the song breath a little more and it only limited by the range of the baritone vocals . The guitar on the build is pretty cool and I might concede to it having some post-rock to it rather than this shoes gaze thing that I am not hearing from these guys.

The dense sonic swell that opens " Lord" is pretty cool and elements of it remind me of Lords of the New Church.The accents in this song are heavy, but not metal, yet these guys might appeal to people who like metal and can appreciate the intensity without having to have the trappings of the genre. On the title track they continue to hammer the point home though I suppose this has more of a death rock feel to it though it also reminds me of 'set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun" this does give the album more dynamics , as they back off and let the drums carry most of the weight on the verse. They keep things dark and tense, you know the explosion is around one of the next corner they keep turning.

Things lean more toward the Police like side of post-punk on "Less" where the vocals stay in the 80's Iggy vein.I suppose some comparisons could be drawn to the Cure on the verse riff. Though the song escalates into a more punk flurry. "Bug" stays in more of the punk side of what they do , which might also appeal to fans of Iceage and Ceremony. There is often a swirling density but they never reach the lifting drone of shoe gaze, so it would be almost like calling the Pixies shoe gaze, those these guys are much darker and more punishing than the Pixies. The closest to shoe gaze they come is on " Veil" where the singer also come close to really singing as he goes into a lurching croon.

The more I listen the more I realize the wheel isn't being reinvented here as much as the few two listens lead me to believe, but it's a damn good album, with a great atmosphere captured through out and really has some balls to it. I will give this one a 9 no problem.

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