Psychic Ills

One Track Mind

Written by: BV on 09/04/2013 18:11:30

Psychic Ills is a band that was completely unknown to me all the way up until my very recent ‘treasure hunt’ of sorts, where I started digging for psychedelic albums that might pique my interest. But guess what, Psychic Ills did just that. This slightly experimental quintet from New York managed to grasp my attention the very first time I heard the track “See You There” from their latest album “One Track Mind”, and as such I felt like I had no choice but to pick up the album and review it.

Let’s start out with “See You There” and dig into what’s really interesting about the track. The major dominating factor of the track is the droning loop in which the song works, where the drumming is minimalistic and the bass more or less sticks to the same pattern all the way through the song. – What makes this track so special then? Well, the ‘lazily’ performed vocals and the echo-fuelled guitar parts certainly did theirs to grasp my attention. But overall, I think it’s the slight resemblance to Wooden Shjips that intrigues me the most. Then there’s also a strangely country-like feel to quite a few of the tracks on the album. For example on “Might Take A While” – a track that has that certain country-rock boogie to it, that is actually slightly reminiscent of Wilco in a strange way. The nasal guitar sounds on this track are also really cool and provide a great supplement to the throaty and muttered vocals, that essentially adds up to making me feel like I should be sitting in a smoke-filled room on a couch somewhere, just taking it all in while Psychic Ills put me in a relaxing and trance-like state of mind.

The track “FBI” has a dream-like quality to it that I can’t help but be enthralled by, with the almost ‘liquid’ sounding vocals drenched in echo and the spaced-out reverse-guitar parts just luring me deeper in, with every passing moment. This is the exact point where Psychic Ills have their strength, in contrast to their contemporaries like The Black Angels, as Psychic Ills provide the necessary dynamic changes for the listener to feel completely comfortable, as well as entertained throughout the track. In spite of this though, there are dull moments on the album where a lot seems to be going on, yet none of it really sticks to mind. A perfect example of this would be the closing track “Drop Out”. The track is driven by tremolo-guitar parts, a cool ‘surf-inspired’ guitar solo and has a slightly psychedelic country feel to it. Despite the track’s cool soundscape, I can’t help but forget it almost immediately after hearing it. This is, in my opinion, an indicator of a ‘weak’ track on an otherwise cool sounding album, by a band I feel like I should be getting more into. I might have to backtrack through their catalogue one of these days, and dig out their debut album somewhere.

7

Download: See You There, FBI, City Sun
For The Fans Of: Wooden Shjips, The Black Angels, Buffalo Killers
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 19.02.2013
Sacred Bones Records


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