PSYCHIC VAMPIRE (Nile Records)
~review by Mick Mercer
THIS EP is really a taster for an album (Destroying The World To Save It - out in August) and is half of CD twins, and it’s a more than acceptable appetiser. ‘Psychic Vampire’ is a slow burner, with a mild sense of development, where neither synth nor guitar or vocals seek to dominate, leaving the bitter lyrical ashes to float clear. It has a classy, secretive feel, and the immediate remixes then feel like different levels of the same song. The second version has the grit, the third all gurly innuendo, so they should really have been swapped in the running order.
You then get three good live tracks included. ‘Blue Snow Red Rain’ is mellow, where synth unfolds generously, swelling the mood alongside sweet guitar, ‘Subversion’ has a deep-seated sense of dark swing, and the relaxed surging of ‘Ceremony’ gently ushers us to a close with casual vocal overlay on tangled guitar.
CD2 soon, and I think you’ll pleased you came.
No, you’re not seeing double, we simply had CD1 the other day. I initially made the mistake of thinking this second CD was an album, because CD1 had three versions of one song plus three live tracks, where this has eight numbers. With the actual album due in August, we simple have a band hitting a hugely prolific throbbing vein here, and this is very impressive.
The title track starts like a car ad, then goes turbo-moody, building into a very firm beast. These are clean, clear vocals, and it’s absurdly catchy, but not just a commercial entity, because as with ‘I Never Wanted You’ the underground grime is there. Although choppy, bouncy and well dignified with reflective singing, it’s like a Mission upgrade, with short hair. Fabulous, really. ‘Blue Murder’ then appears to be a comparative lagoon of tranquillity, if it wasn’t for lyrics about drowning, and further quality hums in the acoustic glints of ‘Crucified’ and with the bells for melodic punctuation it’s so smooth it’s tortellini western.
‘As Fate Decrees’ is somehow bold for a
mid-paced tune, heavy on the vocal drama, with gentle strings shivering
demurely. Even though it is the blandest item here you slot into the rhythm
instantly, because there’s not an ounce of fluff on this record. It all
I said it all works, but I lied. ‘Purgatory’ is ambient nonsense to close, which is very well named, but we mustn’t let that steer us away from the likely fact that the album is going to be something of a marvel.
Two great CDs then. Grab them while you can.