Psychic Ills – Mirror Eye Psychic Ills – Mirror Eye

Psychic Ills - Mirror Eye

Psychic Ills - Mirror Eye

Psychic Ills are a four-piece group based out of New York City. They are known for playing shows that consist of noisy space-jams with like-minded bands like Gang Gang Dance and Black Dice. On Mirror Eye, their proper follow up to first album Dins, (Early Violence, a collection of two early Eps, along with a few more recent songs, was released in between) Psychic Ills continue into a space-rock droned out haze. Influences are plenty, Spacemen 3 largely, as well as some Leaves Turn Inside You-era Unwound on the more structured songs along with the commonly cited shoegaze bands. Opening track “Mantis” welcomes you in, setting the atmosphere for much of what is to come. It begins with some undulating tones before a simple laid-back hand drum loop comes in. The song slowly begins to incorporate more sounds; processed guitar notes that have an eastern flavor begin to show up, as disembodied vocals float in. Once everything comes together, it sounds like what should be playing in a futuristic opium den. Standout tracks “Meta” and “Fingernail Tea” are where the Unwound comes in, though perhaps a bit more simple and repetitive. “Eyes Closed” sounds like a cross between a Kruder and Dorfmeister track and a Sonic Boom penned Spacemen 3 song. The only completely disposable track is “Sub Synth”, which does little more that build a dentist-drill like tone to a high-pitched alarm and then bring it back down again. Much of the music was improvised, and in some sections that can create an exciting tension as the drones melt into more traditional sounding eastern-tinged space-rock. On tracks like “The Way Of”, repetition and variation create interesting textures, which may not hold some listeners attentions, but to me comes across as playful, though in a drugged out way. Very little on this album come across sounding unfiltered or processed by something, which gives it a real alien feeling, and separates it from many of the other largely improvised, jammy albums out there.

THE POINT: Overall, Mirror Eye turns out to be more about texture and feeling than about solid songs. This will probably turn off a lot of people, but the patient listener will find plenty to enjoy. It’s a good way to pass a lazy stoned afternoon, but not too much more. Sometimes, though, that’s enough.

Psychic Ills - Mirror Eye, reviewed by coelho on 2009-02-12T17:41:14-08:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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