Album Review

Psyclones – “Different Thinking People” – [Permanent Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/17/2011   12-inch, A Library

Time warps like a bass line through a flanger. Freaky Eureka, all
stuff from 1980-85 (and all previously unreleased which is cool
since KFJC scored and still has stored a lot of the original
material). Mutato moves, drum machines click to the quirk setting,
many of the tracks are instrumentals. “Radar Rock” has a flat
footed thumpiness with sweetly fragrant guitar lines ends with
tiki electronics. Another cut feels like the Residents trying to
surf. Brian Ladd’s vocals have that teetering on the ledge of a
tall building delivery. The lyrics have a sense of oddness with
the world incomprehensible language lesson on “Basso Italiano”
“What Goes On” delivers a drive-by with reality, and a car is
more real than the person it passes through. On “In the City”
Ladd catalogs “Mirrors windows, day lights, grey bricks, plastic.”
All of these items keeping us the listener at a distance. On
“Life Hasn’t Been the Same” more alienation while the song
splits its time on a treated sports station. Fractionated
distraction. Julie Frith offers tortured vox for the tortured
folks sung through jet contrails over a Kraut rock rhythm on
“Weak As a Sheep.” My favorite is “Thought” which drops rapid
rhyme fire and includes dialog with Radic-Al. It’s got ire
and innocence mixed together, and you could dance to it if
you are careful. Ladd and Frith remain different thinking people
to this day dishing out disks on their own label, nice though to
re-taste the futility of the 80’s youth today, and know they
survived it fine. Good news for the new batch of detatched
hatchlings! Bonus points for the inner sleeve, death to the
simple white sleeves….

-Thurston Hunger

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