Drawn, quartered and glitched

Psychedelic Horseshit – Laced

Have you seen Dr. Who? Not the snazzy new one that looks like The O.C. and seems to be Coronation Street with aliens, but very old Dr. Who. It was a trippy show, filmed on half a shoestring budget, with lines being flubbed and some rather charming little contraptions that passed as beings from another galaxies. Amongst the spectrum of googly eyed beings, there was this lil’ fella called a chumbley. If they moved, they made this funky, cute noise. If they raised their antenna, they made another one, kinda like a sliding whistle. If they died, the poor lil’ ones made a little squeal.

Let’s say those things, the chumbleys, died out but their souls got injected into the souls of a trio of musicians, called Psychedelic Horseshit. Give them instruments that were probably knackered even back when 1960s Dr. Who was being filmed. What they would’ve produced would become Laced, the new album by Psychedelic Horseshit. Brace yourselves, it’s a weird one.

For all it’s weirdness and blending of everything with a transistor they could get their hands on, there is some harmony, there is a pattern in their chaos. Whereas a rock band would go for a solo in A#, Psychedelic Horseshit put different instruments (or pieces of equipment) playing chicken in a highway (‘French countryside’) or do a nice lil’ pop ditty, as interpreted by a lot of broken toys and synths, like in the track ‘Laced’.

Even when the sounds don’t come from electronic instruments, you know they’ve been processed until they resemble something else. The congas (or bongos) in ‘Tropical vision’ get even some clipping, which goes well with the guitars being flung into chorus/overdrive and a rhythm that feels like a bad Salsa trip (but then again, if you lived in Mexico as long as I did, Salsa is always a bad trip).

Fret not, there are some very approachable (on their scale, though) songs in Laced. ‘Another side’ is deliciously pop and endearing; ‘Automatic writing’ is a very soothing piece of ambient that gives you a breather between all the lucid madness that Psychedelic Horseshit flings your way, either on the form of a rave from Hell with an army of naked Sarah Palins (‘I hate the beach’) or the wistful distorted dream that is the wonderful ‘Revolution waters’, with an arpeggio that’s distorted until it becomes a blur while the drone in the back mesmerises you.

As dense as sludge and probably as clean(-sounding), Psychedelic Horseshit lives partially to its name, that is, the first half of it. The latter might apply though, as it’s one of those Marmite albums that you either love or hate. Took me a while to get through the layers, but patience is rewarded for the ones searching for something that really is “alternative”* and not something that just got labelled that way.

Words: —Sam

*Apologies for applying this label. In lieu of penance, how about I recommend you check out their “Supershitty Sundays” mixtapes? They are free  and there are some interesting ideas thrown and mixed together.


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