This isn’t an album, Psychid declare in the liner notes, it’s a set of research findings. The quartet’s self-titled debut certainly is experimental, careering from rock to electronica and a lot more in between.
Because they’re a group of Oxford twentysomethings, the band have been likened by some to Bends-era Radiohead, but the comparison is a lazy one. Psychid’s taste for bizarrely mish-mashing musical styles and adding odd lyrics to match makes them more like an English take on the Flaming Lips.
Still, there’s more interesting fare here than you’re likely to find on the average guitar rock debut. Split Lip Sucker has a dreamy feel to it, as does Wires Ripped Out, while electric guitar rock-out Moonshine gives us the hilarious refrain, “Moonshine is better than sunshine.” Not much of a summer anthem, then, but Psychid don’t seem interested in being too mainstream on the basis of this offering. You can even hear a triangle ping at the end.
Digging For Victory begins like a Kraftwerk synthesiser-driven number, and the weird noises continue throughout with a string section popping up at one point. Everything She Is and Little Bears go on in the same vein, while Jezebel has a creepy feel to it. Psychid can’t trust anyone, they tell us amidst the musical experimentation. Maybe they are somewhat like Radiohead after all.
A former single, Radio, is a catchy rock tune, reminiscent of Pulp‘s Disco 2000, while Field Day sees the Oxford boys plugging the guitars back in. Probably the most conventional rock song on the album, it also gives us a line that many festival-goers this summer will sympathise with: “Mother my face is peeling/My head’s gone rotten.” They might not have rotten heads, but there is definitely something strange going on in the minds of these guys. An interesting listen, nonetheless.