Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Psychic Ills / Dins / Rating: 7.4

“Dins eschews conventional structure and blurs the line between song and improvisation-- there are eight tracks here but fewer tunes.”

If only I had a Psychic Ills' one sheet because look at how every review from both retailers and reviewers alike reads almost EXACTLY the same.

Let’s review:

PFM says “but rather just follows the tack of forebearers like My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, and Hawkwind”

Stylus says:
"it’s hard to reconcile the distinct stamp of Spacemen 3’s skuzzy ether or even My Bloody Valentine with Sonic Youth’s cavern of heavy petting and narcotics circa Evol"

Spacelab says:
"in the vein of Spaceman 3's finer work"

Fakejazz says:
"Psychic Ills are a Brooklyn four piece who bring Spacemen 3's psych & space rock into the New York back alleys and dirty it up with some solid tribal, no-wave rhythms circa early Sonic Youth."

SF Weekly says:
"Psychic Ills is a relatively new quartet from New York developing an indie rock hybrid of Confusion Is Sex-era Sonic Youth (the shattered rhythms and screaming feedback), throbbing psychedelia à la Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine, ghostly reverb-soaked post-punk (Joy Division, Section 25), and Eno's glassy synth-generated ambient textures."

Prefix says:
"It's swathed in Tres Warren's vocals, which are dreamy and breathy and reminiscent of Kevin Shields's."

CD Universe says:
"Psychic Ills take their musical cues from a variety of like-minded bands, including Spacemen Three, Sonic Youth, and the Jesus and Mary Chain."

Allmusic says:
They have obvious influences of course — who doesn't? — Spacemen 3, early Sonic Youth, La Monte Young, Terry Riley, the Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Pere Ubu when they were dangerous; these are obvious ones, but so are bands like Section 25 and Joy Division.

I think we all get it now, this band hearts Sonic Boom and all his patriots but maybe PI should work a little harder to sound like themselves so we can be spared the same review written ten times over. If Interpol can do it, they can too.

For anybody who collects / knows 60’s acid-rock and the generations of band inspired by it, Psychic Ills are a decent band but keep in mind there are a ton of bands who do it better and did it first.

I loose patience for Din for one reason. It lacks focus. I need a band to spare me their improv explorations of the wonderful world of guitar pedals and get to the point already. (Animal Collective this goes for you live too!) Ooooh ahhhhh... another space jam and then another and then wait, is that an actual coherent climax featuring a brief vocal appearance only to enter into the bottomless pit of reverb once again? I am way to ADD to enjoy all of this groovy ride and while I really enjoy the more traditional psych rock moments (“January Rain”, Electric Life" and “Another Day Another Night” especially), the space travel guided by what sounds like bongos, tambourines, and a harmonica buried among 5 electric strings, I could live without. *

The delay is so ridiculous at points that it throws of the timing of certain guitar parts so for you beginner players let this be a lesson to you; take into consideration your delay when trying to keep up with the rest of the band. You vocalist with pedals heed that warning too. You don’t want to sound a wgole beat or two behind because it muddies up whatever clever acid wash you are trying to accomplish.

It's splitting hairs really but I feel funny giving a tribute band of sorts a decent rating. I could agree with PFM's 7.4 but I will feel better if I say 6.8 instead.

*Try listening to Din with headphones on and hear the galaxies collide, slipping from the right side and then to the left...this ping pong effect will actually get you dizzy!