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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2003
Psychid have alot to compete with, as there has recently been a boom of 'indie' bands cracking into the top 10. However this 4 piece band from oxford have managed to exceed all expectiation. Their music is not only interesting, but, as opposed to other indie bands (or proclaimed indie bands), is new and original. Not only that, it is surprisingly catchy, and you find youself humming it to yourself all day. Psychid stand out from the crowd because their music is clever. Owen O'Rourke provides interesting effects, Tom Havelock and Henry Morton Jack write interesting lyrics that have more substance than most others, and Marcus Efstratiou is potentially one of the best drummers of his generation. There is thought behind this album, it is not a collection of commerical thrash-fests or easy to remember chorus lines, but a collection of music that is, as naff as it is to say, true to itself without capitulating to mainstream demands. And yet it is more memorable, and more catchy than anything else of it's ilk. The more it is playered on radio, the better. But buy it whilst you can, and go to their small gigs whilst they are still young-big things are predicted from this quartet. An incredible feat for a debut album.
Watch out also for the ep split lip sucker and single radio-the b sides are pretty amazing particularly room 512 a memorable and kkoily original song, and the haunting bnlack cat, white eyes.
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on 12 November 2003
Not quite the band that first jizzed all over the Oxford music scene in 1998 and 1999, this album is nevertheless a diverse and intriguing compilation of tracks. I've always been partial to context when listening to music however, so first I offer a little background.
From the lowly starting points of The Full Monty through their millenial incarnation as Hester Thrale, this band looked like they were going to come over all U2 in their epic rock grandeur. They kind of have in an electronic sort of way, but following the South Park gig and subsequent name change, their live shows can sometimes feel as if they're trying not to pander to that need. Which is a shame really, as they were damn good at it. The South Park crowd just didn't get it, and the stage was too big.
Nevertheless this is an album full of moments of epic scale and haunting, even if the proggy bits feel a little laboured sometimes. I just hope their master plan (and belive me, these brainiacs definitely have a master plan) is to get the fluffy progginess and experimentation out of the way now and dedicate the rest of their careers to producing kickass rock, not the other way around (*COUGH*radiohead*AHEM*).
Psychid have always sounded 10 times better live, and not even this studio effort has succeeded in capturing the rawness that Tom, Henry, Owen and Marcus have been capable of delivering on tour. I can only hope that their next album (currently in the offing) picks out the best elements of their first, namely quality of arrangements, tunesmithing and balls, and builds on them.
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on 27 November 2003
Don't expect Psychid to top Best of Year polls come Christmas, because they're a little too laid back to have rogered the mainstream first time out. I have a feeling that this record will be like Big Star's Third, or the first VU record - i.e. only SERIOUSLY hip people bought it when it actually came out. I say this because I know this album didn't hit the charts, but, right from first hearing, I thought this is a record young people will still be buying years and years from now. Split Lip Sucker is an immense opener, medieval and futuristic all at once, with a host of unidentifiable sounds audible only on cans. This goes double for standouts Moonshine and Jezebel, which has the most beautiful chorus imaginable. This brings me to the main point - don't listen to this in the background at a party. Listen to it alone with headphones. Sure the whole 'darkened room with a pair of headphones' cliche sounds crap, but there is just so much detail here you won't get from a casual listen. These guys are not making background music, they're trying to take centre stage in your life, and they really are good enough to deserve full attention. This is a true 'band' album - everything is perfectly integrated, which is so rare, and if you buy it you will thank me for turning you on to it.
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on 14 January 2006
This album was recommended to me by a friend of mine who's musical ears I trust. Psychid's sound is very much their own and songs like 'split lip sucker,' 'everything she is' and 'Digging for victory' have made this album, in my opinion, one of the best of 2005. It's so nice to come across an origional sound. Thankyou Psychid.
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on 28 February 2004
I usually try to be objective as a reviewer, but I love this album too much to criticise it at all, really. In these days of bands as frankly bandwagonesque as The Distillers (yeuch!) getting all the plaudits, we have a responsibility to search out great pop music. It's only our own fault if we complain about the state of modern music and ignore bands like Psychid.
Split Lip Sucker is a great opener, but a little misleading because (not for the first time on the album) it sets out a stall the band don't return to. It gives way to the fantastically beautiful Wires Ripped Out - creepy and lovely and unusual and ooo I don't know what else besides. Moonshine is an electronic Disney lullaby, if that makes sense, and I for one would love to see it in Mulan or something...Digging for Victory is a synth-driven brilliant techno nitemare, but before you can properly absorb it, it turns into Little Bears, which sounds like a depressed Nick Drake(!) Possibly the album's biggest beauty, it is followed by Jezebel, an absurdly seductive, forlorn song which is No.1 forever in a better galaxy. Radio repeats the 'pop' trick straight after (in the only piece of standard sequencing on the whole album) before Field Day rips your face off (these guys ROCK) and Burning Boy waves goodbye in a haze of tragic harmony. Uncategorisable, unique and completely brilliant.
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on 24 July 2003
this album is absolutely stupendous.i can't give it 5 stars because very few albums deserve a 'life changing' 5 stars,but this is close,probably because the melodies are timeless/nostalgic,yet new.
if you don't start singing along by the second chorus of 'split lip sucker',then you're a stronger person than i.
comparisons with radiohead,pink floyd and the smiths have been made,and in away they are right,but that suggests that psychid are copyists,and that's wrong
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on 12 December 2003
ok, so the reason i bought this cd was the hint that this band was the next radiohead - being a radiohead fan i must say that i couldn't quite see it myself. ok - some of the songs do sound a bit radiohead-ish (particularly the last few) but then according to the music press coldplay are the next radiohead... yes, whatever!
the first influence that struck me was the first track sounded extremely reminiscent of mansun's opening track on "attack of the grey lanterns" - it's big, epic and a little orchestral. everything else is a mix of the "gloom rock" style which radiohead apparently fit into.
in conclusion, don't expect radiohead mkII - appreciate it on its own merits and try to approach the cd without preconceptions of what you want it to sound like, otherwise you might be disappointed.
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on 7 September 2003
You may never have heard of Psychid. That's o.k. I hadn't either until my girlfriend played me their debut album. Phew! They are so at odds with the current scene! I heard them once or twice on Jo Whiley last year, and made a mental note to check them out, but I wasn't prepared for how good their album would be. Stand out track for me is still Jo Whiley-fave Split Lip Sucker, but Burning Boy can't be too far behind. The songs seem, in general, to be some weird hybrid between Thom Yorke and solo Lennon, without ever sounding like either, if you get what I mean. I read a couple of reviews saying this album was over-produced, but if that means confident, beautiful and non-referential, then I'm all for it. I have different favourites all the time, but if you buy her, she won't let you down. All I need to add to the experience is a live gig...
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on 10 March 2004
i can't recommend this album enough. from its intriguing artwork to its genre-busting melodies, everything about it is unique. the only review i agree with in the press last year was when Q said that psychid sound like no one else, but even the rest of that review was way off the mark. best tracks for me are jezebel and burning boy, which are both mysterious, slow, epic and beautiful, a bit like a sigur ros singing in english, only i still can't make out what psychid are on about exactly...you won't regret taking this album into your life.
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on 26 November 2003
I love this album, and I speak as one who does not normally feel moved to 'go public' on such matters. They are frustratingly elusive, as the previous review hints, but if the cover of Nightshift and their Q/NME coverage is anything to go by, a growing group of 'tastemakers'(ugh...but they are necessary) is turning the world on to them. I've seen them live twice, and to be honest, the first time was just.....inscrutable. It was as if the audience were watching a rehearsal, which I quite liked, but it was hardly a show. The second time, however, was amazing. It really was. It was a hometown gig at the Zodiac, and the way they played made me want to rephrase Nightshift's comment 'the best band to come out of Oxford since Radiohead'. They really are the best band to have come out of England since Radiohead. This album is extremly diverse, but they rock, swoon, laugh and cry with equal success and beauty, Moonshine being a particularly astounding marriage of Flaming Lips and late-period Beatles. Writing about music is like fishing about architecture (thanks, Mr.Zappa) but this record is the start of the future of British music. Seriously.
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