Psychlona – Venus Skytrip

Just like the previous one, Mojo Rising, a collaboration between the Danish Cursed Tongue Records and the American Ripple Music. Mojo Rising, their first recently re-pressed, has a more progressive, psychedelic sound. Venus Skytrip is more of the straightforward pounding stoner rock, like Kyuss and Fu Manchu. The seven-minute opening track Blast Off has a bit of space rock elements in the beginning. Or rather: ‘submarine rock’. In the first minute, sonar-like sounds pull you into the deepest depths of the ocean until you can no longer hold your breath. Fortunately, right on time, the countdown starts to zero and… Blast Off! Gasping for breath, I spend the remaining six minutes listening with goosebumps all over my body. Fuzz loaded guitar sounds, heavy drumming, the sonar sounds from the beginning accompanied by pleasant sounding vocals. I have not heard a better opener this year.

Thank goodness the second track, 10,000 Volts, doesn’t start off that heavy. Slow, heavy riffs thunder by, alternating with calm blues and subdued vocals. Especially the end is impressive: a lot of freaky fuzz driven guitar noise by both guitarists. The third track, Blow, is a good psychedelic rock song at ditto tempo.

Kebab ‘n’ roll desert rock from Yorkshire. If you book us, we will come

At the end of this song I notice what I miss in the, almost perfect, album so far. Especially compared to the earlier mentioned bands. To me the overall sound can be dirtier, filthier. The vocals are excellent, not too present, but a bit too clean, almost a bit too sweet. This also applies to the guitar playing of Phil and Dave. It sounds absolutely great, but it could have been dirtier. The fuzz pedals could work a bit harder in my opinion. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Psychlona on Cursed Tongue Records
Psychlona

The next two songs Star and Edge of the Universe are the shortest of the record. They fit well in the vein of Fu Manchu. Scott takes the lead here and shows that he is the perfect drummer for Psychlona (there have already been five others before him). Both songs are accompanied with well-driven guitar playing, with the track Resin the band goes back to the beginning of the album in terms of atmosphere. It starts off bluesy and moves on to a distorted and more psychedelic sound. This alternates a few times. In Tijuana, the tempo goes up again and the heavy riffs fly out of my speakers again. The Owl, the last song lasts more than nine minutes and is heavy and unwieldy. Repetitive slow riffs with matching drumming and minimal vocals. After three minutes, the bass also starts to interfere and the song goes back into the monotonous riff. Halfway through everything stops and the track is slowly built up again. The same riff rumbles on steadily, but heavy. Around the seventh minute the volume goes up considerably and for a moment it seems that hell will break loose. But no, it slowly fades to a pleasant silence.

Venus Skytrip won’t let me loose from the beginning to the end. Psychlona surpasses itself compared to their previous record. Although a comparison is difficult to make due to the large differences in the sound. A downside is that as far as I am concerned Venus Skytrip could have rougher, filthier and more distorted. Nevertheless, it remains a record that stays on my turntable for a long time: spinning that is.

Psychlona on Bandcamp

Cursed Tongue Records

9.5

Verdict

9.5/10

Pros

  • One hell of a ride

Cons

  • None