When: Mon., March 11, 9:30 p.m. 2013
On their new album, One Track Mind (Sacred Bones), New York trio Psychic Ills zero in on a borderline catatonic strain of bluesy guitar psychedelia whose hypnotic, static structures ride on metronomic midtempo grooves. Guitarist and front man Tres Warren has mastered the somnambulant chant-singing of Spacemen 3’s Jason Pierce, which further narrows the music’s range—when guest vocalist Neil Michael Hagerty adds rich vocal harmonies to “Might Take a While,” they open up Psychic Ills’ cozily confined aesthetic dramatically. As soon as I settled into the album and let it wash over me, though, that tightly coiled sound turned out to contain an almost luxuriant sprawl.
Young Santiago quartet Follakzoid represent a new strain of Chilean psych-rock, rejecting the folkloric current pioneered more than four decades ago by the likes of Los Jaivas and Los Blops in favor of something more mechanical and lean. The group’s first U.S. full-length, II (Sacred Bones), borrows heavily from Neu!’s chugging motorik rhythms, and guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro pours out molten licks that ooze into the music’s sharp crevices, whether he’s driving hard, exploring with reckless confidence, or launching wild volleys into the great beyond. Keyboardist Alfredo Thiermann answers with an almost plastic sound beholden to Philip Glass and Steve Reich as much as to old-school kosmische, and bassist-singer Juan Pablo Rodrigues buries his restrained, nearly robotic incantations in the murk, his vocals bouncing around in the sound as if he’s merely thinking out loud. This is the group’s Chicago debut. —Peter Margasak Psychic Ills headline; Follakzoid and Speck Mountain open.