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Monday, 30 May 2016

PSYCHIC ILLS – INNER JOURNEY OUT (Sacred Bones Records 2 x LP, CD, D/L).

Inner Journey Out
Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in NYC……………..since their last release, One Track Mind from 2013, it appears that New York City’s Psychic Ills have been absorbing the same influences as Jason Pierce and taking inspiration from country, blues, gospel, and jazz and adding them to their already rich sonic palette of psychedelic sounds……….which is not a bad thing in the slightest. It is fair to say that the new Psychic Ills record, Inner Journey Out, sounds an awful lot like Spiritualized in parts, with Farfisa organ, gospel flourishes, languid, woozy, almost horizontal vocals and a seriously unhurried vibe as they explore the dark heart of the gothic Deep South. Sprawling over four sides of vinyl, Inner Journey Out expands on the Psych Rock resonances of the previous record, with Psychic Ills taking their music to a much darker place, creating a broad, lush soundscape unlike anything they have recorded before………it’s a trip and the best Spiritualized album since Pure Phase.

With Inner Journey Out’s slow-mo blues, languid guitarscapes and druggy atmospherics, Psychic Ills are now sharing space with bands such as Brightblack Morning Light, Mazzy Star and of course the Godfathers of “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to”; Spacemen 3. Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval even appears on the track ‘I Don't Mind’, a stoned Country Blues that brings to mind her work with Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions. Psychic Ills move towards a frazzled Country Blues sound is a really interesting development…….there are shades of Primal Scream during their “Dixie Narco” phase on tracks such as ‘Mixed Up Mind’, ‘New Mantra’ and ‘Coca-Cola Blues’ where Exile On Main Street is re-imagined and re-recorded by the band on whiskey and downers. There are some really fantastic tunes on this record……….once you get past the “it sounds like Spiritualized” phase and start digging through the rich layers of sound, real gems start to emerge. The Gospel tinged ‘Back To You’, 'Baby' and the lysergic blues ofMusic in My Head’ are stunningly atmospheric tracks while ‘Hazel Green’ is a completely absorbing slice of Psychedelia. The standout track has to be ‘Ra Wah Wah’ a nearly 10 minute long instrumental which mixes swirling organ and guitar with beautiful jazzy saxophone and it’s a major departure from the sound of One Track Mind. As if suspended in time and space ‘Ra Wah Wah’ has a serene meditative quality that really is absolutely mind blowing. The more you listen to this record, the more it opens up…….it is total head music and a must listen for fans of the laser guided melodies of J Spaceman.

Released by Sacred Bones Records this Friday (3/6/16), Inner Journey Out is available as 2 x vinyl LP and CD from your local groovy record store, the Sacred Bones web store and all the usual outlets…….there is a limited edition version of 400 hand-numbered copies on desert haze vinyl, which comes with alternate screen-printed brown paper bag outer sleeve, inserts and is wax sealed which is available from the Sacred Bones web store only. A digital download is available from the Psychic Ills Bandcamp page here


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