Psyence: Psyence (Voodoo 7 Records)

Stoke psych rock quintet unveil sterling debut LP

Released Aug 16th, 2019 via Voodoo 7 Records / By Richard Lewis
Psyence: Psyence (Voodoo 7 Records) On a steady upward trajectory over the past half-decade logging appearances at Liverpool Psych Fest and a solid presence on the gig circuit, Stoke psych rock outfit Psyence deliver the goods on their long awaited eponymous debut LP.

Refreshingly, the quintet don’t care for retro-obsessed recreations of vintage psychedelia or lengthy prog rock workouts, and probably due to the material being road tested through extensive live dates, the quintet are extremely well-drilled.

Opening with their best known cut, the blues motifs of Cold Blooded Killer, the insistent riff of Into the Unknown, breaking down to just the rhythm section midway through hints at a track that will sound enormous live, while Dream Invader is a super-charged boogie that doffs its cap to Cream at their most expansive.

You Will Never Known supplies the strongest chorus of the disc, while the steely drive of Black Hole recalls the expansive psych rock The Stone Roses, Echo & the Bunnymen and the criminally underrated House of Love struck gold with in the Eighties.

Falling In Love musically places the band near to a brighter sounding version of US psych blues titans All Them Witches while A New Dawn is redolent of The Doors in Riders of the Storm mode. Elsewhere pile driving punk rock dust-up Bad Seed, presumably to named after Nick Cave’s backing troupe, doesn’t sound much like the Aussie Prince of Darkness, is an impressive piece of tempo-shifting alt. rock.

While Come Closer the longest track here drags slightly and Moonlight Midnight is more of a sketch than a song, as the rocket on the retro-futuristic cover underlines, lift-off for the Stoke outfit is achieved. 4/5