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Psycho Death Punk - Psycho Death Punk (self-released)

5 April 2023

Psycho Death Punk, as the name might suggest, is found at the heavier end of the musical spectrum. It is a place where all manner of genres mix and meld, where the grunt and grit of grunge blend with punk’s blunt sonic trauma. Where the majesty of metal is tempered and restrained by the more direct deliveries of hard rock, it is a place where melody and muscle are found in harmony.

And melody is the vital ingredient here. Yes, Psycho Death Punk might trade in more straightforward musical salvos, there is undoubtedly a raucous edge to the music, and the sounds are so down to earth that they might be considered subterranean, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t run with raw melody. Their grooves might be direct and driving, but they are grooves nonetheless, and effective ones at that. Plus, even with such a definable generic format, they still find new places to take rock and roll.

If tracks such as “One Thing” suggest the thrill of DIY gigs and music you can escape into, then “Green Eyes” is, in stark contrast, a rock ballad but far from the usual sappy power ballads that most bands are happy to put out. Instead, their take on the style is to take garage rock tones and industrial textures and drape them on a slow jam of power and, in its own way, poise.

Psycho Death Punk’s eponymous album showcases a skilful blend of heavy rock genres that masterfully balance groove, power, melody, and grit. “Ancient Tales” exudes slow but thunderous guitar riffs set with lyrics that seem both primal and poignant, while “Elephant” propels squalling metal riffs forward with tsunami-like drums and resonant bass lines. “Energy” welds an almost pop sensibility to a hard rock engine, and the album concludes with “Undetermined,” a fusion of industrial edge and alluring grooves.

Despite being heavy, Psycho Death Punk’s music maintains a delicate balance that allows the more nuanced ideas enough space to be heard through the sonic salvos. Criticizing the music for lacking refinement and sophistication would not only be a cheap shot but also miss the point entirely.


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