Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Psyatics - Much Worse Things Happen at Sea

Putting most, less ambitious, Las Vegas bands to shame, the Psyatics have released their fourth studio album in 6 years. Following on the heels of 2016's Famous Monsters, this newest offering gives us more of their take on No-Wave/Noise/ Garage Rock'n'Roll, with ample Psyaticsized twists'n'turns, shrieks'n'shouts and clamorous beast-beats.

Opening with Jack Ball's layers of atmospheric guitar, Rob Bell adds his lopin'n'loopin'  bass licks to  Mark Bartschi's surfy drums and wastes no time in throat scorchin' the lyrics to "God's Gun". Guest horn man Gene Howley's vaguely Mid-Eastern/ Free Jazz sax riff punctuate "Psyatic Nerves" and the band creates a discordant swing in "Warm F-Holes".

I have never knowingly listened to Pink Floyd's Animals and the song "Pigs" is not particularly catchy or memorable, but the Psyatics dynamic, punchy version with its waves of wah's is growing on me. "Sheep In Wolves' Clothing" has a very odd, syncopated time signature and plenty of No-Wave-y cacophony but remains memorable and riff laden, while Howley returns to accentuate "Prey On It" (and provides a lovely, screeching solo), which also benefits from Rob's wife Danielle's captivating voice. I can't be too objective about their cover of the Hives' "Two Timing Touch" as I appear on it on lead guitar, but they retain the power'n'energy of the original while changing it up pretty dramatically, as they are wont to do.

Swirlin' swells of feedback'n'guitar noise are layered over a somewhat laid-back, arpeggio'd bass riff with a drum beat that ebbs and flows between climbing, shrieking cries of "do it again" in "Repetition", "Two Cannibal Kings" is their take on sorta/kinda more straight-forward-but-tense post-punk rock and there's a mellow, jazz vibe to the title cut, with groovin' bass, swingin' drums, plenty of 9th chords, more nice backing vocals from Danielle and cool, discordant guitar solo (you can always bet on Jack coming up with some unusual melodies).

"Never Enough" gives us some raucously rousin' funk, with Howley's horns boppin'n'jabbin' throughout, while Jack's fuzz-ridden guitar riffs around Rob's rollin' bass and Mark's hep groove. "Inbreeder" is damn near poppy in its catchiness and head-boppin' beat and for the finale, Rob's pop culture roots show through again in "The Ludovico Technique", a reference to the aversion therapy that Alex goes through in A Clockwork Orange in an attempt to rehabilitate him. This is an ultra-rare mellow, acoustic tune - is that bongos I hear? A very different way for this always different band to close out their record!

If you read this blog at all, you know that I love this band and these guys, so I'm prejudiced, but this is another hot piece of polycarbonate plastic! Get it! (I just wish that they would include lyric sheets as Rob is a great writer!)