Album Reviews

Psymon Spine – Charismatic Megafauna

(Northern Spy) UK release date: 19 February 2021

Psymon Spine - Charismatic Megafauna Brooklyn based dance collective Psymon Spine took a three year break following their debut You Are Coming To My Birthday, but the group are back with Charismatic Megafauna. It’s a wobbly but welcome return.

The damp clouds of aerated vocal spray which gently mist themselves over the euphoric guitar noodles and elastic bass of the disco touched first track come courtesy of Berlin resident Sabine Holler. Recalling the FM featherweight collages of Ariel Pink and day-glo psychedelic longings of Kids era MGMT, whose Andrew VanWyngarden features, the appropriately entitled Confusion is a hydrating dose of sunshine vapour wave, being released in the midst of a record breaking cold and snowy winter. 

After the sultry dreamlike opener comes Modmed whose treated vocals and chunky laidback centre reminds us of the subtly ominous dance floor gyrations of Metro Area’s Miura. The repetitive chorus of Jump Rope wibbles into focus, recalling Peaches and Chicks On Speed arch electroclash exertions but It’s not all placid flashbacks and pastel infusions. Milk is a cloying square of pleasing fudge whose seductive come ons get stuck in your teeth and brain, whilst the agitated punk funk of Channels finds frontman Noah Prebish conjuring his inner James Murphy, screaming over some choice Ze Records inspired Afrobeat and jerky David Byrne guitar riffs.

An air of cyberpunk chill infects the mechanical techno aspirations of Solution, while candid siren song radiates again on the downtempo Different Patterns, its erratic squelches and acoustic reverberations acting as an uneasy aural sedative. Its commercial imperfections have all been ironed out and its grooves, all tightly locked, render the number close to catatonic.

Occasionally entertaining, for the most part this is an unfortunately predictable record, overall lacking any substantial bite.

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Psymon Spine – Charismatic Megafauna