Guilty As Sin is a three-man band from the Boston area who were nice enough to send me a digipack CD of their latest album, 2011’s Psychotronic. This album is the band’s fourth, and I discovered that I already had on my iPod their last release, III, which came out in 2010. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get around to hearing that one, because I think I’d remember the band’s sound, now having listened to all of Psychotronic.
I originally picked this band as one of the listening experiments for yesterday’s MISCELLANY post, but instead of stopping at one or two songs, per the rules of that game, I got sucked into the whole album. If I’d included my impressions in that MISCELLANY post, it would have turned out even gargantuanly longer than it already was. So, I decided to include my thoughts about Psychotronic in this separate piece.
When I started into Psychotronic, I thought I’d just pick the first song on the album and have that be the basis for my MISCELLANY impression. That first track turned out to be a Moog-ish synthesizer piece that sounded like two scary electronic beings having a conversation. So, of course, I couldn’t stop with that. The next four songs flew by in a blaze of punk rhythms spliced with thrash mayhem and hardcore vocals. I liked that shit quite a bit, so I continued to listen — and then I hit a total surprise at the sixth track, “Addicted To Cyanide”. It’s a long instrumental propelled by chug-heavy riffage, thrash-guitar chords, and weaving/soaring solos that got my addled head whipping. It’s a guitar lover’s head-trip.
Well, fuck, I really couldn’t stop with that. What would come next? (more after the jump . . .)
Of course, what came next was another blinding surprise — “Gobekli Tepe”. It’s another instrumental, but with a distinctly ethnic flavor to the guitar melodies. The song is named after a 12,000-year-old sanctuary un-earthed in southeastern Turkey, and the music sounds as if it’s drawing on traditions from that part of the world, but what do I know. Tribal hand drums (the darbuka), jazzy trumpet solos, and finger-cymbals further lend an exotic air to this wonderful song.
The almost dreamlike finish to “Gobekli Tepe” was followed immediately by the wake-the-fuck-up of “Machine Eat Flesh”, pulverizing drums and down-tuned hard riffs plowing big furrows in the skull. Within the song, that opening segment is followed by a rhythm shift fueled by a mix of distorted squalling and tremolo’d guitars. Another instrumental, but this one is headbanger candy.
Well, of course, I had to listen to the 9th and last song (the title track), just to find out what kind of surprise would finish the album. I found out: a psychedelic flurry of freaked-out guitar leads swarming over a repeating drum-and-bass rhythm (which grows more intricate as the song progresses), accompanied by a cavernous, massively distorted vocal. It’s a kind of shoe-gaze for the deranged that disintegrates into a cacophony of shrieking/beating/voracious electronic noise over the last 3 minutes of its 12+ minute length. Fuckin’ sweeeet.
This is one of the most diverse and creative albums I’ve heard in a while. I’m genuinely impressed by the kind of talent that can create so much divergent music and do it so damned well — from biker punk/thrash that makes you want to have a couple of shots and dive into a mosh pit, to exotic folk-metal, to avant-garde noise, and much else besides.
With so much diversity on the album, I’m really clusterfucked about what to play for you, but I’ve settled on three tracks — one of those punk/thrash numbers from the album’s first half (daintily titled “Frothing At the Cunt”), and then “Addicted To Cyanide”, followed by “Gobekli Tepe”:[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/03-Frothing-At-The-Cunt.mp3|titles=Guilty As Sin – Frothing At The Cunt] [audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/06-Addicted-To-Cyanide.mp3|titles=Guilty As Sin – Addicted To Cyanide] [audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/07-Gobekli-Tepe.mp3|titles=Guilty As Sin – Gobekli Tepe]
You can buy Psychotronic, either as a CD or as a digital download, at this location. The Guilty As Sin myspace page is here. Now excuse me while I go see what I missed on the Guilty As Sin album that preceded this one.