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Psycho Comedy’s Welcome Debut LP


Psycho Comedy PERFORMANCE SPACE NUMBER ONE. Silver Machine Recordings

Psycho Comedy are an art collective from Liverpool. Since their formation in 2015, they have now grown into a group of seven with a poet (Matthew Thomas Smith) and an in-house artist (Sophia Rose Powell) now frequent collaborators with the unit. In their work, Psycho Comedy aim to paint a world not only through rock’n’roll music but through many forms of art, including poetry, photography and film.

“We worked with Robert Whiteley (BC Camplight) in the late summer of 2019 who was extremely patient in trying to create the Psycho Comedy sound – Shaun had zero hours sleep before recording all vocals on the record to reflect the demeanour and theme of all songs.”

Listen Here:

In essence, PERFORMANCE SPACE NUMBER ONE seeks to capture and depict on record the ephemeral mindset of the Psycho Comedy’s own vocalist, lyricist and frontman: Shaun Powell. Each of the 13 tracks that comprise the album individually derive something different from Powell’s conflicting psyche; from battling the harsh realism of modern life with the surrealist temptation of debauchery, darkness and nostalgia.

“Creatively and audibly, the record is saturated in the deconstructive sounds of New York punk and delivered with a crazed power-against-music, this is a collection that struts and sleazes around every corner, whilst beat poetry infiltrates and reiterates its complex and cryptic messages with activist colour.”



Opening track ‘Psycho Comedy’ serves as a two-minute band introduction with dead-beat horror movie rhythmic thrum, talking vocal and the recalcitrant declaration of “We won’t stop the music.” It’s something of an ingenious introduction and a sign of things to come. ‘First Cousin Once Removed’ is a racing slice of classic heavy rock with frontman Powell part-singing, part-talking in front of jangling rhythm and bass guitars. Hell, there’s even a melody to carry it along. ‘We Adore You’ drops to mid-pace with guitars leading the charge with highly effective riffs and lyrics that remain pretty hidden under the extremely messy production. The melody manages to support the song and actually render a heavy rock song that could win rock radio airtime.

“Stars fell like leaves in Autumn and left the night sky blank and empty. Left the night sky Van Gogh wouldn’t look at…” These lyrics spoken in broad Liverpudlian open a jagged and bouncing rocker called ‘Islands’ with brass shrieking out in the background. There’s more melody, something this band appears to be sensitive to in virtually every song here, and clever production to render them listenable and likeable. ‘Standin’ is a rhythmic gem with few words, good melody and joyous vibe.

As I progress through this record my only criticism is that often lyrics are difficult to decipher. It’s a record for our troubled time offering diverse pace and mood, strong rocky vibe and vocals that are nothing less than passionate and credible. There’s also poetry and verse such as in ‘The Theatre Came Crashing Down’. ‘I Am Silver Screen’ is a clean steady-pace rocker with compelling rhythm, while final track ‘One’ is like a train moving off from the platform and gathering speed as it moves through the suburbs. There’s both generic convention and sonic adventure laced with melodies that are so important in opening doors for the listener and radio stations. It’s a welcome and original gem of a record and just when we all need it. Can’t wait to witness this played live…



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