The Cosmic Dead – Psych Is Dead [Riot Season]

This was going to be a joke review initially, and with the light-hearted bunch of hairy folk that is The Cosmic Dead there exists plenty of material to use to poke fun at, however, on the repeated listening of the bands new long player, Psyche is Dead, this approach wouldn’t do.

The band’s sixth slab of music in recent years opens with a meditative trance, a wash of modulating drone pushed alone with a jarring sparse bass groove bringing to mind the brittle dry tones of Slint’s Spiderland.

This is on top of waves and gargles of synth mixed with the effected guitars, the tropical watery arpeggios bring the refreshment to the scene created, the heat of a full day condensed into the 20-minute plus opener ‘Nuraghe’ captures the environment of the kitchen on the Mediterranean where the LP was recorded.

This pleasance this comes to an end as the temperature rises to that of a burning comet heading straight for the listener’s temples; the drums get the same treatment of being able to overdub and loop over themselves until the all human elements of the piece are unable to continue.

The title track, is a gentler affair, featuring vocals that recall The Flaming Lips, which leads to a synth lead piece over a grounding snare pattern.

The major benefit of listening to the Cosmic Dead on record is the fidelity a studio type recording allows for the separation in the instrumentation, it can be fully appreciated; as the interplay can sometimes be sacrificed for blunt force at the live shows.

Links to their live set can be heard in the closer ‘#FW’, where after the howl of what sounds like “fuck Westminster” the headbanger material comes out.

The riff gather a playful side as a bit crushed hooks is typed out as the record draws to a close.

Words: Paul Choi

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