Album Review: Bad Ideas by Psychomagic

Summer is upon us, and sometimes when you cruise down the open highways, you need a little surf rock to back your surroundings. Psychomagic is just the band you need. Their album, Bad Ideas, is only 37 minutes long, just enough to give you the taste of the magnificence that is the surf rock genre.

The range of songs on this album is subtle, staying true to the root sounds of the genre, but expanding in small ways. The title track of this release is a catchy, rhythmic romp through the sounds of the early 60s, harkening back to “The Monster Mash” with its tin can lead vocals and eccentric back up vocals. The guitar’s effects are plucky yet distinct and the breakdown section gives the listener a good sense of the drummer and bass player’s chops.

“Colors of the Past” puts the band’s charms on full display. The verses are haunting and cool, but somehow not calm. As they wrap up with the lyric “My mind is filled with ghosts tonight”, the whole band jams out in a preternatural groove that drives your mind and your soul. The intricate guitar and bass line keep your head bobbing and wanting more. Additionally, the organ on this track is an outstanding plus, giving some much needed depth to a rather light and airy tune.

The last song on the album, “Sun Song,” is a tribute to The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” both in name and in spirit. At just four minutes, this is one of the longer jams on the album. The intro is lingering like smoke through an empty room. But once this track gets to the halfway mark, the guitar takes off on a trip down fuzzy lane, the bass strikes with the force of a hammer falling, and the drums accentuate the cacophonous mood with precision. This track is easily my favorite on the album and is an energetic way to end the album’s story.

The rest of the album, save for these three outstanding songs, is your standard fare surf rock/surfabilly summer time grooves. This album is definitely an outstanding example of the modern surf rock genre, with many allowances for new influencing styles to join in. Once you pop this record on, you’re cherishing the effects driven rhythms and relishing in the sunshine destination of your fantasies.

More information about Psychomagic can be found at www.facebook.com/psychomagicband. “Bad Ideas” is available for purchase at http://lolipoprecords.bandcamp.com/album/bad-ideas-cass-cd .

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