February 15, 2006

Issue III:
New Orleans' 9th Ward Music Scene:
Katrina and Beyond


Nervous Exits

Get Out



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Psychic Ills
The Social Registry 2006


The long awaited Psychic Ills LP has finally arrived! A little tighter and more composed than on their single or in their live set, the Ills come off a bit like mid-period Spaceman 3 backed by early Pink Floyd on their first full-length. An even better comparison is a more sophisticated take on the first incarnation of Red Krayola. Like Parable of the Arable Land with the Unfamiliar Ugly’s free-form freakout interspersed between the hypnotic songs, Dins has a few pounding primal psych numbers with an equal number improvisational percussion interludes. The Ill’s never lose themselves into stoner rock clichés, folksiness, or even general pop structure for that matter - but remain pure with a single-minded devotion to the riff and an unwavering consistency of mood. And that mood is an acid-tinged one that navigates the horizon between eastern exoticism and deep space.

The instrumental “East,” with its dense percussion and pentatonic scales, and the East Asian percussion from “Electriclife” introduce the album from the decidedly exotic realm. More than two minutes into the first song the instruments and vocals burst in full of transparent radiation and the free form freakout pops in again at the end before leading to the alien ambient noise instrumental “(Untitled).” “January Rain” has pretty much the same beat as “Electriclife” – but who cares – it’s a good one – plus there’s that really cool high guitar riff. And then “Inauration,” like “(Untitled)” is another noise instrumental interlude – except backwards. The album really cracks open with the powerful epic “I Knew My Name” - which looks like an instrumental jam on a simple bass riff until, four minutes in, a gigantic cymbal-crashing key-changing song is introduced. “Witchcraft Breaker” is another short interlude improvy instrumental drum fest. And the finale “Another Day Another Night” is a beautiful shoegazer anthem and a perfect conclusion.

Dins possesses much of the orthodox sensibility and aesthetic coherence that’s absent from most of the recent highly compromised "psychedelic" offerings. This very formalism flips Dins' retrograde tedencies into something fresh and vital. Plus, the band's unusual command of their effects - particularly the wild yet warm tone of the effect-drenched vocals and the colorful guitar sounds, distinguishes them from all of the others. A soundtrack to a movie that’s yet to be made and a hallucinatory experience you've yet to have . Maybe the best thing I've heard this young year.

Buy it at Insound!


MEDIA (courtesy of The Social Registry):

January Rain MP3

Another Day Another Night MP4 Video





© New York Night Train , 2006