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Review: Psychic Lemon - Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay (released January 12, 2018)

The debut album by UK’s Psychic Lemon was the first album I reviewed in this blog. It was also my pick for #1 album for 2016. So, it’s been with eager anticipation that I’ve awaited their follow up album, and now, in the early days of 2018, Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay has arrived! Does it live up to all my anticipation? A most definite yes! The title of the album, in fact, is a sort of sonic manifesto, and it lays out the journey to come in no uncertain terms.

From the opening attack of tribal drumming and thundering bass on Exit to the Death Lane, you know you’re in for an exhilarating ride, and you are not let down. As edgy guitars and druggy, chant-like vocals enter, the music has you under its spell. Hey Droog! follows, with an incredibly powerful sound, balancing a storm of fuzzy feedback and wild wah-wah guitar soloing on the tip top of punchy, precision drumming, but underlying it all are some eerie, spaced out vocals. Awesome stuff!

This time they out, Psychic Lemon adds guest Iain Roddick on saxophone to the mix, and he brings some jazzy elements to their sound like on the track You’re No Good, which has a bit of a fusion vibe to it, especially with the freak out sax solo towards the end. But it doesn’t sacrifice the trippy vibe you would expect from Psychic Lemon either. After that comes a definite stand out track for me, Interstellar Fuzz Star, a formidable, nearly 10-minute long freak out full of bizarre experimental elements, chugging, mesmerizing rhythms that bounce between minimal motoric beats and propulsive, lockstep timing reminiscent of early Hawkwind.

If anything characterizes Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, it would be its sheer, raw energy. Every track is just bristling with electrical fire, burning with fierce, psychedelic spirit. The intensity of the album is almost unbearable, but in such an excellent way, as the band pushes every track into nuclear overdrive, never letting up, each track whirling round and round your brain with epically explosive power. It only lets up finally, in the album’s closing track, Satori Disko, allowing the listener to come down gently from the dazzling electric joyride that has preceded it. There is a definite Krautrock vibe on this track though, with its repetitious, trance-inducing rhythms and far out, experimental noise accents that buoy a slowly building monster of sonic blissfulness, Roddick’s sax playing adding a mellow yet intoxicating vibe to the proceedings.

Psychic Lemon are back and in a big way with Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay. This is not music for the faint of heart! But those who can take it will have their ears sizzling and their minds truly blown.

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