Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Psychic TV : "Alienist"

I first tuned into Psychic TV one hazy drug summer in the early 90's after picking up a copy of  their 1988 compilation "Allegory and Self" then went back and began listening to the albums preceding that. Last year I checked out "Snakes" which was more rock- n -roll than I remembered them being. So here we are with "Alienist". It starts off with a cover of Harry Nilsson's "Jump in the Fire" and finds a good balance between the more surreal side of their earlier work and this renewed interest in rocking out in a Hawkwind like manner. Here there is a more jammy and wandering spaciousness. There is is more surreal "I'm Looking For You" which is a conversation between Genesis and Lucifer. I always knew we shared similar experiences while on acid. This song sprawl out into ten minute out into the cosmos, but is so hypnotic that you barely notice how long you have been away from the Earth.

After the chilling epic before it, when Genesis and the boys launch into their cover of the Creation's "How Does it Feel" it doesn't feels as inspired. The band sounds like Alice Cooper's band from the 70's and Genesis also sounds a little like the Coop with more of a gravely rock n roll rasp.There is more funk to the title track than they used to have in their more electronic efforts. The vocals are a mumbled chant that asks if you ever felt like an illegal alien. This one drones on the same groove and rides it into the ground. I'll give this album an 8 because the first two songs are awesome and the second half of the album isn't bad by any means,  I am not sure it lives up to their legacy in the same way. If you are already a fan you can appreciate this , if you are just getting into them I suggest their pre-90's work first.

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