Psychic Ills - Dins LP
Includes mp3 download of album.
The Social Registry
Dins is the full-length debut of New York City's Psychic Ills; a band known for their squalling live shows that combine post-punk sonics, deafening drones, psychedelic weirdness, rhythmic tribalism, and loose, shambolic, improvisational jams that have everything to do with chaos and intensity and nothing whatsoever to do with Widespread Panic, Phish, or whatever other "uber-musician" gang you can come up with. These cats may not be able to play as well, but they are more musical for all their craziness. With Charles Burst behind the board (Gang Gang Dance and Black Dice), the band get the opportunity to rein in some of the live excesses and channel new energy toward some previously unknown inner space via the dimensions and textures of the recording studio. After the discovery, they bust out of it, of course, and that's what makes this such an impressive record. 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. That weird Eastern tinged mental drug orgy thing that seems so elusive to so many nowadays drenches these proceedings. Check the hand drumming and snaky guitar in "East" for starters. There's that eerie blues thing going on with the modal guitar line, with hypnotic bass lines and hand drums; it's full of space and enough bleed-through to make everything hum just under the surface and it all falls apart, just for a second, where some heavily reverbed harmonica and unidentifiable percussion instruments usher in the disorienting "Electric Life." That becomes caterwaul and erupts into an actual rock & roll song with disembodied vocals at about two-and-a-half minutes. Killer. The electrical drone and howl of track three (no title) sounds like a more menacing outtake from Metal Machine Music before giving way to the farfisa addled pulse in "January Rain." The balls-out rock of "I Knew My Name" with Elizabeth Hart's vocals includes a host of high-pitched, reverb-soaked, single-string riffs riding just atop a curdling guitar/bass/drum two-chord throb and is as cool as it gets -- think "Rocket USA" meets the demo for "Radar Love" before it all just explodes into an orgy of sound. The scree that ushers in "Another Day Another Night" to close the thing is all droning cough-syrup guitar swell and wordless echo/din vocals. It's the payoff before the seduction where everything that's delivered in a haunted, wooly sanguine blur was never promised. Who knows what's being sung, and who cares? It's silvery, slithering melodic fabric has no seam, everything lies down together in a psychedelic rock & roll orgy of acid-guzzled, dark-thrummed bliss. Dins does it, over and again.