Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Psyatics - self-titled CD

OK, so anyone who has ever read this blog knows that the Psyatics are one of my favorite Las Vegas bands and knows that I thought that their debut CD, Oderint dum Metuant, was a skull-crushin' garage monster. Here, on their confusingly self-titled second CD, they take things even further with more great tunes, great playing and great sounds.

The sound really does stand out on this one and they are rightfully proud of the production here. The guitars (Jack Ball) are massive yes multi-textured, Rob Bell's bass runs circles around the melodies and alternates from cool'n'clean to distorted'n'nasty while Jimmy K's drumming is intricate'n'powerful and never resonated better! While this all is easily identifiable as the Psyatics, they do vary their vibrations throughout to keep things from getting complacent.

They open things with a very short, atmospheric intro before poundin' out the stomper, "You Got Me Hummin'", a Sam and Dave number (though you'd never know it) via the Reigning Sound, that brings in Rob's wife Dani to alternate vocals with him. There's no let up before we get "Bad Luck Charm", another frantic riffin' rocker with some noisy/no-wave tendencies, as well, and this continues into "Sin City Dames". Another driver is the melodic tale of an additional drunken dame in "Train Wreck", with more of Rob's catchy lyrical couplets. Jack's guitar creates washes of soundwaves in "You're Gonna Burn" before they pull out a cool 60's fuzz-rocker (originally by the Banana Splits!), "Gonna Find a Cave", and make it into a frenzied'n'furious bit of garage lewdness, helped out here by local harp-master Jeffrey Koenig.

Further word play from Rob in "Sick Sick Six" and then one where Rob's vocals are a little buried, making me wish for a lyric sheet, "Gentleman of Four Outs", that has a really cool groove - not as maniacal as many of the others, but with fine guitar licks and starts'n'stops and memorable melody. Keeping the slower tempo and more early 80's no-wave guitar tones they serve up "Shame on the Family" (almost reminiscent of some of Rob's work in the Yeller Bellies) before uping the pace again with their cover of the Dirtbombs' "The Sharpest Claws", where they really Psyaticize it (more frantic fuzz from Jack and wild shrieks from Rob)! While not completely going goth, I hear some Bauhaus influences in "Properly Medicated" followed by more garage-punk agitation in "Tension!" (again with swingin' harp from Koenig). Rob seems aggressively pained in "The Great Caucasian Migration", while Jack's guitar tones change throughout and Jimmy takes the tempos on crazily disjointed rides. Dani returns for harmony vocals and the bouncin' "Bag of Bones" and it all finishes with another fairly short "Outro - Shame, Shame", reminiscent of the "Intro", fittingly.

Far from a traditional garage trio, these cats mix up all of their influences to create a high energy sound concentrating on garage and punk but adding bits'n'pieces of blare'n'boom, cackle'n'buzz, old'n'new, making something pretty goddam unique. Add some solid songwriting, exceptional lyrics and superior playing and you got something that you need, whether you know it or not!