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Psychic Ills 


Wednesday, Feb 1 2006
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. Now, I really dig all these influences, and on Dins' eight-minute closer, "Another Day Another Night," Psychic Ills successfully channels them into a swirling space jam: A blissed-out wash of guitar distortion wraps itself around gusts of heavily processed male/female vocals while the druggy, downtempo groove dissolves into a rhythmic presence that is felt rather than heard. Following a similar path is the first half of "Electric Life," a wave of static-charged vibrations benefiting from what sounds like a wailing harmonica submerged underneath a foggy puddle of echo 'n' fuzz. Unfortunately, the second half of this track finds Psychic Ills copping some all-too-obvious tricks from the moody heroin-as-gospel blues of Spacemen 3 (the superior predecessor to Spiritualized). And that's the nagging problem with Dins: One too many tunes teeter on the edge of retro shoegazing, especially the hazy, strumming drone of "January Rain," which sounds straight out of England circa 1990. Having said that, I'd much rather listen to this kind of knockoff than, say, retro Soup Dragons.

About The Author

Justin F. Farrar


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