Famous Monsters – The Psyatics

Famous Monster

Famous Monsters is an 8/10. Creative and loud, much like those crazy double IPAs that you find. Essentially every brewery does an IPA, but some take it further and add more hops, and improve upon the old standby. Being that essentially every brewery has an IPA, they can get a bit old. Sometimes there needs to be a change up to keep things fresh. Famous Monster is a creative take, but the vocals tend to be fairly uniform across the album.

The Psyatics are a Las Vegas based alternative garage-punk trio consisting of: Rob Bell (Bass/Vocals), Jack Bell (Guitar) and Mark Baertschi (drums). Formed in 2012, The Psyatics are fresh from a Japanese and Western states tour. Their most recent album, Famous Monsters is here to bring the Fuzz.

Famous Monster seems on the surface a high energy garage rock album that sounds similar to the old standbys, like The Strokes and the White Stripes, however, they maintain a fresh approach, which is hard to do in this genre.

There is a fine line that musicians walk. Hell, all artists walk. It is the line between paying tribute to the old masters, and innovating the genre. The Psyatics walk the narrow path, and do so well.

Famous monster opens on the track Famous Monsters it reminded me of Wolfmother’s early work. Loud fuzzy and deceptively unorganized sounding. However there is a strange note of the 1990s surf sound that Weezer is known for.

The surf notes become much more apparent on the second track, The Last Time I Saw Julia. The Clean guitar is an interesting break from the distorted fuzz on Famous Monsters.

The next two tracks, Lay Low and Shake Them Bones Move more towards the traditional hard rock sound, think Guns N’ Roses with the shredding guitar, and sweet base riffs.

You Killed Me First is the point on Famous Monsters that sets it apart from all the other post punk garage rock groups. We get treated to a little saxophone which I have never heard in this type of music.

The next track, Burnt Offerings opens like the intro song to True Detective Season 1. Strange, but then it opens up into a loud hectic ode to rock.

The remainder of the album shows a diverse sense of music, and a track listing that feels fresh, and inspired. The production is spot-on, and matches the image that the group is trying to project.

Famous Monsters shows that The Psyactics have an appreciation for music. Their songs span a variety of genres and styles. The music is stylistically very good. I only take one issue with this album and that is the vocals.

The lead vocals are good, and Bell is a wonderful rock singer I think he sounds similar to Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. That being said, I wish he would diversify his sound a bit more. The vocals sound a bit too similar on each of the songs. The music is different, but it can be hard to look past when the vocals sound virtually the same on each track.

I understand that it is difficult to change ones vocals, but I think slowing down the pacing, or trying to add more harmonies or guest vocals like in Pet Names would really help The Psyatics to move forward.

If you are interested, you can listen to and purchase the album here.

-Sam Hill

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