Sunday, May 29, 2016

Psychic Ills :"Inner Journey Out"

The New York band's fifth album finds them not just flirt with the "Madchester" sound they masturbate to it with the object of their desire being the Stone Roses.Ian Brown was an attractive guy so I can understand the man-crush. When they begin to inject a little country on the second song, it helps change things up and you can hear they are also into Jesus and the Mary Chain, and obviously Mazzy Star because Hope Sandoval sings on the following song "I Don't Mind". I might be more impressed with this album if I still smoked pot as it makes me want to lake a long summer's nap. Well produced as everything sounds great, the songs are typically so slow that it doesn't take much to execute them. The dream country drift of "I Don't Mind" finds the album beginning to improve. The album shimmers as it glides on cruise control like  with guitar tones that sound like if "Born On a Bayou" was recorded on powerful pain killers. This is what it sounds like to get too high to catch a groove.

While in many ways this is Brit-pop the lazy sunshine baked sound of the 60s radiates from the simmer of the melodies. The vocals tend to stay in the same register, more than a whisper, but not powerful enough to call a croon. I didn't hear the psychedelics until the interlude"New Mantra" brought a trippy ripple to the party. Harmonica is introduced as they take on more of a folk strum with "Coca -Cola Blues". At this point in time the pace has pretty much been set. Vocally it seems we have already heard the extent of what going to happen. There is a slight gospel tone to some of the backing vocals, but "Baby" stays at lazy jangle . This album is painted in similar shades of the same stoned sun-shine. In fact if that baby from Tele-tubbies got high I am sure this would be his favorite album. Though the song "Music In My Head" is about how he doesn't want to get out bed when he wakes up, and this song would put me to sleep as well so I can understand the plight. There is a cool guitar sound at the onset of "No Worry", but I can't really imagine it going any where, since the bulk of the songs stock close to whatever the established vibe is. Some electric guitar comes in, but that doesn't mean we are actually going to rock out.

The sad thing about this album is that when you get bored with a song, which is bound to happen, you can fast forward it along and find that you haven't missed anything.The ambien-laced jam leading into "Hazel Green" feels more kraut rock like. The guitar playing is cool enough, but is it cool enough to justify an instrumental? They go into a more indifferent brand of indie rock on the slow shuffle of "Confusion". The guitar on this song is cool enough, but the vocals aren't doing anything to really compliment it. However this is one of the best songs on the album. Things begin to float off into more of a hypnotic drone on "Ra Wah Wah". By the three minute mark it's clear when are lost in a space jam. It sounds really cool for the first four minutes then it becomes clear that it needed to go somewhere. That somewhere never comes.Unless somewhere is a atmospheric abyss. If I didn't already own Pink Floyd's "Obscured By Clouds " the more jammy moments might seem like some next level shit.I'll give this a 6.5 it's got some cool sounds, not the most original thing to come out but better than most indie krautrock as it add flavors of country among other genres to the mix.

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