I knew absolutely nothing about the two musicians, Max Dameron (guitar/vocals) and Sam Ford (drums/vocals) who comprise the stoner/sludge/psychedelic/noise/punk duo Psychic Trash upon taking on their self-titled debut, that’s poised to be released on RidingEasy Records, choosing to take on the review based solely on their name, their label, and the description of their sound.
Evidently, Dameron and Ford have some juice in the heavy rock underground, having played in various bands in and around Portland, Los Angeles and Brooklyn, including the amazingly named, how-did-I-miss-it band Wizard Rifle (Are you fucking serious? That rules!) before settling in Detroit Rock City, which somehow feels appropriate for the grimy, heavy, sometimes unsettling sounds heard on Psychic Trash.
The album slowly creeps awake with some psychedelic noodling before bursting forth with Ocean Song, the track thrusting forward with a fuzzed-up, distorted riff that is as melodic as it is malevolent. This song serves as an excellent opening mission statement evoking the heavy, yet trippy attack of much-missed Georgia heavy, forward-thinkers Kylesa, but mixed with a heavy dose of Neurosis-style weight and Eyehategod -style, single-note, riff-menace.
If you’re in the mood for some maniacal, noisy, sludgy punk rock played with creativity and conviction then Psychic Trash should definitely scratch that itch…
Uncanny Valley unfolds with some odd, yet melodic guitar and dueling vocals, before exploding into a heaving, riff-monster that conjures up some of Melvins weirder moments. First single Underlings is a distorted, heavy, yet semi-melodic, punked-up face-ripper that also boasts some tripped out effects and some mountain-moving riffage, as well as some well-placed ‘die, die, die, die’ barks that certainly fit right in the threatening nature of the track.
Elsewhere, the penultimate House Of Butterflies teases a mellower, psychedelic affair, before exploding into a sludgy, yet resonant burner that again invokes sonic similarities to Melvins and Kylesa. The album closes with Odysseys Away, wherein Dameron unleashes some pretty interesting shred before Psychic Trash descend into a manic, riff-freak out and bash-fest with the vocals sounding particularly frenzied and hysterical, as the band enter a charging breakdown, bringing the album to a close, leaving the listener feeling dirty and leveled by the band’s musical assault.
Psychic Trash turned out to be a pretty killer debut as the duo make all sorts of noise, while proffering a unique, unhinged take on sludgy riffy punk made all the more impressive by the harmonized vocals and the band’s wall-of-sound approach. If you’re in the mood for some maniacal, noisy, sludgy punk rock played with creativity and conviction then Psychic Trash should definitely scratch that itch.
Scribed by: Matthew Williams