Thursday, 19 May 2016

Album Review...Psychic Ills - Inner Journey Out.

Psychic Ills are back!
The eagerly anticipated follow up to the New York duo's 2013 album 'One Track Mind' gets a release on Sacred Bones Records on June 3rd.
The albums conception, as always, started with Tres Warren's demos and Elizabeth Hart adding her parts within the studio sessions. What is different this time around, is rather than use overdubs, the album features touring keyboard player Brent Cordero and a series of guest artists.

What's also notably different from 'One Track Mind' is the tone of the songs.  There is far less fuzz, within the production, and a much more warmer sound; notable at first on 'Another change'.  Cordero's keyboard style proves to be a winner; especially with the gospel backing vocal.  This is easily one of my favorite songs of the year, so far.  It's here, where you begin to note, an often recurring comparison to Spiritualized, especially from around the 'Lazer Guided Melodies' and 'Ladies and Gentlemen We're floating in Space' period.

'I Dont Mind' is a duet with Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval; the two vocalists compliment each other beautifully over the country Psych sounds, once more benefitting from the underlying keyboards.  Elsewhere 'Coca-Cola Blues' evokes the spirit of early seventies Neil Young, as it opens with the sound of harmonica and the feel of a track from 'Harvest'.  The pedal steel guitar enhances the track and elevates it to a whole other level of hazy beauty. ''No Worry' has an eerie string arrangement over the echoing guitars,which gives the album a different dimension and 'Rah Wah Wah' is a shimmering blissed out trip played out over 9 minutes.

There are definitely moments on the record that compare to that of Jason Pierces earlier Spiritualized albums; whether that is through direct influence or the way the songs here have been crafted and pieced together, by using similar themes with gospel vocals, horns and strings.  Either way, it doesn't matter; they both make brilliant music that will continue be enjoyed beyond the decades to come.

The band now, more than ever, deserve wider recognition and attention. Inner Journey Out is a career best in a run of already excellent LPs. There are plenty of standalone tracks here, but this record is something that plays best as a whole; loudly and, with or without, the influence of your favourite poison.  The more you listen, the more the you discover what is going on.  As a progression, from 'One Track Mind', the band music has reaped obvious benefits from taking a different approach to recording this time around.

Psychic Ills have delivered something special.

Psychic Ills Official Site

Psychic Ills Facebook

Buy Inner Journey Out from Sacred Bones Records,

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