“I’ll take ‘New Indie Bands’ for $1600, Alex.”
“This psychedelic-rock band from Lawrence, Kansas has marveled crowds with their sound that blends Black Sabbath, Wooden Shjips, The Black Angels, and Ty Segall.”
“Who are Psychic Heat?”
With an infectious, psychedelic rock sound that spans some of great past and present psychedelic rock bands, Psychic Heat are about to extend their reach beyond their hometown. With their fantastic, rocking, debut EP, Lighter and Brighter, the six-track album is a sheer force of whirling guitars and relentless energy. The quartet aren’t reinventing psychedelia, but who really cares when it sounds this good. Their approach honors what psychedelic rock fans love about the genre – fuzzed out guitars, some distortion to elongate the notes, pounding bass lines, rousing choruses, and mind-blowing guitar solos.
Listening to their debut album sounds like a live performance – a little gritty but wildly infectious. “Stargazer” opens the album, and it “calmly”, by Psychic Heat’s standards, welcomes us with fuzzy guitars and a Wooden Shjips feel. “Mortal Concept” is more of a 70s rocker with a catchy riff, but it’s a heck of a track.
“Terra Terror“ exemplifies what a slow burner should be. It starts off low-key and mellow and teases at times with the guitars kicking in a touch. Then midway through, the song explodes. For 30 seconds, it’s a frenetic almost free-for-all ensemble of guitars, quick-paced drumming, and heavy bass lines before slowing down to its finale.
The deceleration of “Terra Terror” is the perfect lead in to the shoegazey “Interlude (A Half A World Away”), which is a short song and really the introduction to “Ambience”. Combining fuzz and shoegaze, the aptly named track has dreamy, psychedelic moments, similar to the neo-psychedelic pop of Echo and The Bunnymen.
The closing track, “Waters”, is an excellent bookend. Whereas “Stargazer” eases listeners in to Psychic Heat’s sound, “Waters” cascades us with driving, cathartic guitars and a long, riveting jam for the final three minutes. It’s a song made to be performed and enjoyed live. For that matter, this is a band made for live audiences, and one that should be performing in music venues across North American in the very near future.
Psychic Heat are Steve/Evan Herd (guitar, vocals), Tanner Spreer (guitar), Sam Boatright (bass, vocals), and Ricky Barkosky (drums). Pick up the Lighter and Brighter on Whatever Forever and Bandcamp, and the album includes live versions of their tracks.
Facebook – Psychic Heat
Twitter – @psychicheat
Above photo by Nick Lamendola. Featured image by chelsea donoho photography
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