Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Psychostick - IV: Revenge of The Vengeance (2014)

Sometimes metal can be boring. About 99% of the bands are so extremely serious that it seems like they have lost, or never had any sense of humour at all. That is why I can appreciate a band like Psychostick, who has devoted their entire musical career with writing metal music that also makes you laugh. Some people may find their style stupid and juvenile, which I actually also do to, but they do it with such style that makes it hard to dislike them. I mean, doesn't everybody like to be stupid once in a while, just to let loose? Just me? Oh well.

No matter how strange it may sound, "IV: Revenge of The Vengeance" is the band's fourth studio effort, created in their own studio and funded by their Indiegogo campaign they had a year ago. And if you have not heard of who these guys are, I suggest that you search for their channel on Youtube, then you will get how these guys work. It is just four guys that wears funny hats (except for the drummer), acts real silly, and are obsessed with beer, taco, and Bruce Campbell. But the most important of all, it is four guys that are having tons of fun, and it is so reflective in the music. Everything from the skits to the instrumentation feels alive.

It is also easy to pick a favourite song in a Psychostick album. The tracks that makes you laugh the most is often the one that you enjoy the most. I for one got a good chuckle out of "Loathe Thy Neighbor" where the singer Rawrb (yes, that is his name) complains over grumpy grannies, annoying hicks, and other annoying neighbours. Damn, Psychostick is good at writing songs about hating something or someone. I also love the paranoia in "Quack Kills", the fantastic (and sort of creepy) celebration to the actor Bruce Campbell, the fast paced "Obey The Beard" and the satire over the death core sound in "So. Heavy.".

But behind the funny lyrics lies a sound that is often very groovy, and has a certain amount of heaviness that is nice, but not impressive. I would say that the sound leans a lot towards the typical American hard rock sound that we have heard from tons of other bands like Papa Roach and AFI, but it still feels original enough for the band to not be associated with those bands, even if the similarities are there sometimes. The track "Blue Screen" could easily have been written in the late 90's or early 00's and is pretty unoriginal. However, the fact that it acts like a love song towards a computer just makes me love the song, and it also works as a satire for these kinds of songs.

But Psychostick does not hit it right in all of the songs in "IV: Revenge of The Vengeance". The song "NSFW" is literally a song where the only thing happening is that the band is trying to go for the world record in saying the word fuck as many times as possible in one song. I never thought that word would lose its meaning, but it certainly did after only one listen through that song. I also find the cover of the Kenny Loggins song "Danger Zone" decent, but seeing what they did to the Dope song "Bodies" in their last album, "Space Vampires Vs. Zombie Dinosaurs In 3D", I expected more from the band instead of some alternation at the end. Also, is it really necessary to incorporate a bloopers outtake at the end of the album just because you are a humour band?

Then we have the skits that are evenly spread out throughout the album. They are all moderately funny, but none of them are really amazing. The two skits that features Billy Manspeaker from the band Green Jellÿ, "New To The Neighborhood" and "Trick or Treat", does not have a very long life span, while "H-flat" works fine as an intro to "So. Heavy". The most impressive skit is definitely "Dimensional Time Portal", in which a dimensional time portal is opened up during a Psychostick show and makes the panties of the female population to glow, causing them to lose all interest for sexual activity. And the only thing that can save Earth is metal, which is shown in the following track, "The Power of Metal Compels You". A insane concept that is just typical Psychostick.

Sometimes, stupid metal can be pretty good, and this is one of those occasions. Psychostick succeeds in their mission of tingling my laughing nerve and does it with a sound that is groovy and pretty cool. I definitely prefer "IV: Revenge of The Vengeance" over 90% of the sitcoms that are released now a days because it entertains me, and you notice that the band members have really put their heart and soul in the material. So yeah, it is stupid, it is juvenile, and it is a high risk that your IQ will drop by a couple of points when you listen to this album, but I would rather be a happy fool than a sad genius. So sit down, open up a beer, take a bite out of your taco, and enjoy the stupidity.

Songs worthy of recognition: Blue Screen, Obey The Beard, Lothe Thy Neighbor, Bruce Campbell

Rating: 7,5/10 Dogs that likes socks

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