May 14, 2009

CD Review: Psychostick - Sandwich

Ever heard of Psychostick? Me neither. Man, seems like I begin a lot of music reviews that way. I guess it is a testament to trying out new bands, or I just don't listen to enough in the first place. In any case, Psychostick is one of the odder bands I have had the pleasure of giving a spin. They are an extremely dumbed down version of Mr. Bungle, think something like Tenacious D crossed with Green Jello (er, Jelly), with a bit of The Bloodhound Gang for good measure. This is a band that is not so much about the music, but in the attempt to be humorous by turning a clever phrase, taking nothing seriously, and just having a bit of fun.

Whether or not they are successful is another story altogether. There is nothing special or fresh about the music they play or the humorous concept album idea. That said, the album is a lot of fun and when you key in on the lyrics, there is some funny stuff to get into. The question is, will it survive multiple listens?

Psychostick's Sandwich album is the Arizona-based act's third album, including an eight track holiday album in 2007. The concept driving this album is, you guessed it, food. The majority of the album's 24 tracks (!) are about food. There are some funny lines and the idea itself is pretty funny, although it does come in the wake of HORSE the band's 2006 EP called Pizza.

As catchy as the majority of the album is, as funny as some of the lyrics are, as clever as they are at times, I cannot help but feel Sandwich has a somewhat limited shelf life. I do not see anyone listening to this over and over ad nauseum like we can with truly excellent albums such as Green Jello's Cereal Killer or, on the more serious side, Mr. Bungle's California. It just lacks that long term connection factor. It is low brow and shallow to the extreme. Sure, I'll pull it out every once in a long while and would probably go see them live, but again, this is likely to get dusty on the shelf in between urges to listen to it.

So, once you do get your hands on Sandwich, those of you who are interested, there are a few tracks you will want to key in on during your tour.

The opening track is "Metal?" with a conversation reminiscent of Les Claypool before launching full bore into their ode to "Caffeine." Other highlights include "Grocery Escape Plan," "This is a Sandwich, Not a Song," and "Do You Want a Taco?" Also worth a peek are "#1 Radio $ingle" and "You've got Mail Enhancement." Finally, perhaps taking a cue from House of Pain and Limp Bizkit, there is a tune entitled "373 Thank Yous," which is exactly what you think it is.

Bottomline. It is what it is. It is worth checking out, it is funny, has some decent hardcore/punk inspired riffs and at times picks just the right target to aim its humor at.

Mildly Recommended.


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