May 14, 2009

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Psychostick, Sandwich
Rock Ridge Music, May 5

Sometimes you actually can judge a book by its cover. I’ve not had life-changing experiences with albums whose covers were done up, for example, in basic dumb-bunny red with grainy, carelessly Photoshopped pictures of unidentifiable blobs slapped in the middle. I expected the barrel-bottom worst from this one, its title foodstuff goggling stupidly up at me on a Friday evening drivetime, the time I’m off to do grocery shopping and indulge myself in music that has nothing to do with my plan to take over the world as its greatest CD reviewer, a title that may someday move my sideline pay grade up to McDonald’s McNugget-bag-ripper-level with a bullet.

So there I was thinking I hate you, terrible whatever-messed-up-genre album you are, and I don’t care if the raves have been pouring in, because music reviewers are out to sabotage music anyway. With a few newly invented curse words fluttering out of my mouth and into the air in my car, I slipped this $15 nickel into the hopeful dashboard slot and suddenly, unexpectedly, it was like stop the presses, wait a minute. Oldschool Black Flag-style tude-punk with jokes that are actually funny, lots of raw aggression, reckless speed, loudness. Will Psychostick change the world? No, they will not, but they stand as a helpful reminder that Green Day and Avril Lavigne and all their stunted ilk are about as punk as Tickle-Me Elmo Sings Raffi. A+
Eric W. Saeger