Friday, December 29, 2017

Psychic Psummer - Cave

Psychic Psummer
Important Records IMPREC247

I bought this strictly on the basis of its cover.  Well that and it was really cheap.  I didn't even bother to look the band up, I knew a record with this crazy a cover had to at least be interesting, if not actually good.  I had never heard of Cave and I still don't know much about them except that they are based in Chicago and one of the guys calls himself Rotten Milk.  The record opens with "Gamm" which begins with a slow drone before erupting into a heavy psych instrumental.  It is exactly what I hoped this record would be like.  "Made in Malaysia" has some lyrics that I can't decipher and has a more straight ahead heavy rock approach although the instrumental break is pretty trippy.  I dig the vaguely Middle Eastern riff and the kinetic energy driving the song.  Side one concludes with the far more spacey "Encino Men."  It features a hypnotic rhythm track over which someone is noodling away on a synthesizer.  There is also some sporadic garbled singing with heavy reverb.  It reminds me of "A Saucerful of Secrets" era Pink Floyd given a dub re-mix.  Side two begins with "High, I Am" which follows a similar formula but is far more dynamic and exciting.  "Requiem for John Sex" is presumably a tribute to the cabaret singer of the same name.  It begins with a jumpy disco-like groove that evolves into a spectacular rave up with synth and guitar cacophony over a relentless pounding rhythm track which is my favorite musical moment on the record.  It runs for more than 6 minutes but I wish it was twice as long.  It reminds me of Can at their finest.  "Machines and Muscles" unfortunately reminds me more of Kraftwerk.  It is driven by a mechanical rhythm track with poppy synth runs on top.  It is my least favorite song, but it does give the record an upbeat finish.  Despite the last song, I'm really happy with this album.  I paid peanuts for it, but it is extremely worthwhile and pushes a lot of my buttons.  This is one of my favorite things about record collecting, the thrill of discovery and the reward of taking a chance on an unknown record.  Logically I ought to research every purchase, but that is no fun for me.  I'd rather just get burned once in awhile.  A happy find like this terrific record more than makes up for the occasional dud.  Recommended to Dead Meadow fans who dig krautrock.