Pointless noise from bored children hiding lack of musicality, passion, and vision under a label of “Whatever”.
Run for Cover, 2014
3.0 / 10
As I listen to an album I plan on reviewing, I take notes to see if my feelings change over repeated listens as well as to get some semblance of a rough draft together. I try to be objectively positive when reviewing albums, i.e. respecting and appreciating the tremendous work that it requires for a band/artist/studio to put out an album while at the same time being honest about the quality of the final sound output. Still though, even with really crappy music that I will never knowingly listen to again, I generally find at least one or two positives even if it’s just the album art or a particularly nice maracas solo. Over the past two weeks that I’ve been listening to this album though, I’ve had someone close to me unexpectedly and tragically die. And suddenly all the interesting little comments that I’ve been faithfully logging about Psychic Mess just seem silly and pointless. What’s the point of going into the details when a simple, “music sucks, lyrics inane, singing soulless” suffices?
I was going to start by asking you if you’ve ever heard the sound of a old school sewing machine. Because despite the fact that the whole house rattles with the sound of nails on a chalkboard when my Mom is on her’s, Creative Adult thought that this was clearly the perfect addition to Psychic Mess‘ opener to make it pop appropriately. And they were right, “Control My Eyes” is perhaps one of the most memorable songs on the album– because while I’m just generally just apathetic towards the majority of the songs, I actually both remember as well as strongly dislike this particular song. Aside from “Psychic Message” with its UFO signaling back to the mother-craft opening, no other songs are distinguishable much less vaguely memorable despite repeated full album plays.
And therein lies my fundamental problem with this album. While it’s definitely not the worst music I’ve ever heard– it’s that despite being in an emotionally raw place where I have been feeling the full range of stages of grief, this music did absolutely nothing for me. When I was feeling overwhelmed and unable to just make my brain stop, it didn’t get me out of my head and surprise me with anything new. I wasn’t struck with a moment of vibrant beauty that could put my depression into perspective. And perhaps most shockingly given Creative Adult’s punk roots, the album didn’t even enable me to lash out at the universe and vent when I was feeling angry/guilty/lonely. It was just flat disembodied noise.
And it’s not that fault of the genre either. There are plenty of garage/lo-fi/’80s punk bands that create memorable if not meaningful music. But Psychic Mess has the unfortunate trifecta of throwaway lyrics, monotonous singing and drab boring music. Creative Adult’s Facebook describes their genre as “Punk/Noise/Shoegaze/Whatever.” Labeling your music “Whatever” is not an excuse for emotionless detached thumping and yelling.
Creative Adult remind me of three boys in my high-school who were neither particularly smart, athletic, or good looking, and they decided to form a band to essentially up their cool factor. While none of them were blessed with an aptitude for music, they were convinced that they could teach themselves the basics and really make something out of it. They believed that no one would notice the fact that they just played the same chords a bajillion times as long as they threw in a good head-bang at the appropriate moments and shouted loudly enough as to drown out their abysmal playing. I sincerely hope that Creative Adult are getting more pussy than these three teenage boys got (none), because otherwise quite frankly, I don’t know why they bother. What’s the point of going through all the trouble of putting out an album when the end result is so insipid and forgettable? The only time I got excited about the music was when I hadn’t realized a different band had started playing in my iTunes.