Review Summary: Even with its problems, Psychostick release another solid album with over-the-top hilarity.
Have you ever had the experience of being a broke college student? Perhaps you've sat in your favorite recliner pondering to yourself where the squirrels go during hurricanes? Have you ever been grocery shopping?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above, then Psychostick's
latest opus "Sandwich" might be a necessary listen.
, the band made famous (or at least known well enough to sell a few albums to frat boys, white people of a lower socio-economic status, etc.) by their ode to alcohol entitled "BEER!!!!!!" are back. For those still scratching their heads, the band is best described by a genre coined by themselves called 'humorcore.' Growling vocals, heavily distorted guitars, breakdowns... essentially the story of metalcore, but with a terrific dose hilarity that actually works. Despite the strength of the humor, and occasionally, the strength of the instrumentation; the album is a chore to get through and there are plenty of less-than-inspired moments that may turn many listeners off.
The most positive and potent aspect, clearly, is the comedy. As stated earlier, the humor used on the album is of the immature, outlandish, and irrelevant. If you don't have at least some appreciation for that, then do yourself a favor and write this band off. Song subjects range from caffeine addiction, not having enough money to purchase some ice cream, how terrible girls are at giving directions, radio rock blasphemies, and more. The subjects are funny enough and the lyrics, for the most part, are sharply written and will give you a good laugh, often when you don't expect it. One of the standout examples, "Girl Directions," has spoken word verses by a guest female appearance in which she attempts to direct the singer or whoever to a destination. When the "chorus" comes in, the screams of "GIVE ME THE F**KIN ADDRESS" are hilarious and very effective when used in conjunction with the softer verses. Other great examples of the humor come from the song "This Is Not a Song, It's a Sandwich!," "Minimum Rage," and "We Ran Out of CD Space," the latter of which, is one of the best songs in the bands catalog and must be heard in full to understand its, dare I say, genius?
However, not all is well in the little laughable world Psychostick
has handcrafted. Though the instrumentation is sharp and spot-on, it becomes tedious very quickly. The guitar(s), while never sloppily played, sound the same from track to track and never really standout in any way. The same can be said for the drums and song structure. What is surprising, despite these things, is how much the bass lines stand out. Though he's been downplayed slightly since their debut album, Mike Kocian is a very decent bass player and more than holds his own incorporating catchy, slapping bass notes the are a nice departure from the redundancy present in the rest of the instruments, most noticeably on the track, "Girl Directions." The vocals also suffer from this repetitiveness. While never annoying, vocalist Rob Kersey has a pretty stagnant delivery, overusing the same tone in his growl song after song. Another big problem in regards to the vocals is the production. This was a problem on the debut "We Couldn't Think of a Title" as well; its often hard to make out exactly what Rob is saying due to all the other instruments being much louder. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if the lyrics didn't matter, but seeing as how the lyrical hilarity is central to the album's appeal, it couldn't hurt to mix them a little louder.
These issues along with other minor quibbles (too many songs, occasionally lame interludes, 373 Thank Yous, etc.) hamper the album to some extent, but really, who was expecting a masterpiece? "Sandwich" is a hilarious album that more than deserves a listen by all fans within the areas of rock and metal. Its everything it promises to be and nothing more.
And let's be honest, what self-respecting member of male society doesn't want a song entitled "You've Got Mail Enhancement" on their Ipod?
We Ran Out of CD Space
Grocery Escape Plan (yes, its an homage of sorts to Dillinger Escape Plan)