Monday, September 25, 2017

The Schizophonics - Land of the Living

After seeing the insane live show that is the Schizophonics, I have been waiting for months for their debut record. I was afraid that it might not live up to the expectations of the unbridled experience of their performance, and, of course, it it not nearly as manic (Pat sings into the mic and plays all the notes on his guitar on the record), but it is still a terrific rock'n'roll adventure. Thank you to Sympathy For the Record Industry for coming out of retirement for this release!

This trio - Pat and Lety Beers on guitar and drums, respectively, aided by a variety of bass players, although they seem to have settled on Brian Reilly - mix high-energy garage with plenty of soul, some psych, more than a touch of Hendrix, a bit of James Brown funkiness and plenty of deranged originality. Lety is truly a great drummer (you can see her in the fantastic all-femme garage combo, the Rosalyns, as well) and adds cool backing vocals to Pat's lead vocals and amazing guitar work -  cool tone, wild leads and just the right touch of distorted noize.

As each band member joins in on the riff and builds up the intro of "Streets of Heaven and Hell", Pat then comes in with his raw'n'rocky, blue-eyed soulful voice, and by the time they explode into the screechin', fuzzed-out solo, you are definitely lost in the beat! "In Mono" is a ferociously stompin' riff-monster with a simple-yet-catchy chorus praising the monaural sounds (like this record) and resolves with more psyched out soloing and whoops'n'yelps from Pat. Damn near Blue Cheer-ian in sound, "Make It Last" is another frantic blaster that still retains garage melodies and some Mitch Ryder Detroit soulfulness. San Fran psych dominates "Open the Door", Bo Diddley-ish beats propel "The Train" while Pat goes off on an especially Hendrix-ian lead, the semi-title cut "Welcome" ("to the land of the living") is a fast-paced, dynamic sing-along, and "World of Out Own" is more combined garage/psych.

You can't help but "Move" as this song grooves intensely and even has a soul-filled drum breakdown, "Red Planet" is another fuzz-pounder, and the finale, "Put Your Weight On It" is a frenzied soul/funk workout with more Hendrix-stylings, haunting vocals on the bridge, and a fervor that walks the edge of being tightly controlled and somewhat crazed.

These cats'n'kitten are absolutely one of the best new bands on the planet right now. Buy this and see them at every chance you can - you won't be sorry!