This is a sweet album… and almost in the way that some of it sounds a lot like the band Sweet. But make no mistake, The Psyatics really do have a unique sound as well. Their latest album, a fourteen track monster, manages to breeze by in a barrage of relatively brief, high energy punctuations. ‘Famous Monsters‘ really digs its claws into the listener, even though the entire album is a paltry thirty six minutes long. Given that there are fourteen tracks, this might seem astonishing, but there are only good reasons for the brevity of this collections of tunes.
Each track is wonderfully structured, terrifically tight, and waiting to pounce, powerfully into the listener’s head. I did, at one point, have to admit that there were ‘Voices In My Head‘. The band, in the form of Rob Bell (bass guitar and vocals), Jack Ball (guitar) and Mark Baertschi (drums), do in no way ‘Lay Low‘ in this ravaging album. And somehow, in the midst of all the hard hitting riffs, driving drums, and manically ranting vocals, The Psyatics have a bit of a ‘Secret‘…in the featured form of Gene Howley, rocking the sax. Not a genre that one would expect to find some sexy sax work in, but work it does, and it just adds another layer to this seemingly simple, but truly technical album.
Love, hate, murder, mayhem, guilt, grief, and some pretty ‘Pet Names‘ (this journalist’s favourite song on the album – and the sexiest track by far!), The Psyatics have got something for everyone on this masterful monstrosity. From ripping, punk-rock riffs, to some jazzy drum and bass, and from rant-and-rave vocals, to some sweet harmonies, and melodies from featured artist Danielle Bell (such a sultry surprise), ‘Famous Monsters‘ is one hell of hit addition to the punk scene. Amassing all manner of genres underneath the torn umbrella of punk-rock, The Psyatics have got a unique little niche that is amazingly expansive.
One just has to listen to this album to really understand. And hey, if everything above isn’t enough to get you interested…well how about the fact that they cover The Velvet Underground’s ‘I Can’t Stand It‘? And trust me, though they may shave a whole minute off the original song (due to the energetic nature of the band), it might just be an ultimately better version of the song. There’s also a cover of The Drags’ ‘I Like To Die‘ – a brief bit of creepy rockabilly.