White Suns
Psychic Drift


1.5
very poor

Review

by Finn Baker USER (43 Reviews)
October 16th, 2017 | 6 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Noise rock, but without the 'rock'.

In August 2017, I discontinued one project under which I had been releasing music. As a way of “mourning” the demise of this project, I compiled all the small samples and recordings I made but never quite used into a track. It was a way of flushing out all these unused noises. I released it and called it ‘sound dump’. None of the sounds in the track were ever meant to mesh together harmoniously. I knew that I could never do something like that and call it a real song. No respectable artist can just place noises together randomly and release it under the disguise of a serious album, right?

Psychic Drift, the new album from a very noisy rock group called White Suns, sounds like it did that word-for-word. It is their fourth album, and their last two releases have been widely critically acclaimed, so fans know White Suns is very capable of composing some solid noise rock. For this release, though, they seem to have misplaced the ‘rock’ element. Every minute of this album is made of chopped up samples, tense feedback, extremely distorted growling drones, and haphazardly delivered vocal performances. There are no longer any pummeling drums or wailing guitars. If there are, they’ve been buried so deep into the mix that they’re indiscernible from other sounds. It is noise in the simplest sense of the word.

The way ‘Korea’ begins is a perfect demonstration of how randomly generated this album feels. The first impression Psychic Drift gives you is a mess of discordant keyboard noises. It fades into electronic shrieks, which in turn gives way to a sloppy rhythm based on hissing tones and decaying bass hits. It’s as if each song could be divided into three or four segments, and each segment has no sounds in common with the one before or after it. Every few minutes, there is a new idea that obliterates its whole section. This makes the whole album sound disappointing and incohesive. Occasionally, a few lines of dystopian lyrics sliver through the cracks and say something irrelevant. Not only does the vocalist’s voice lack a certain harshness and maturity to make it appealing, but every time he speaks up, he doesn’t make sense. He only says a few words at a time, and those short phrases are seldom connected to each other.

For a bit under 40 minutes, White Suns try to fulfill every cliché that a noise album has. The lyrics are somewhat dark, everything is actively conflicted and lathered in several coats of distortion. There’s even a section of the song A Year Without Summer where the vocalist tries to sing over a jumbling rhythm. It doesn’t feel correct, like it’s not supposed to be there. There are some intriguing vocal manipulations around that time, but there is no merit in Psychic Drift to make it stand out as a good noise album. It’s bad noise, and with no apparent substance left in them, I’m worried as to where White Suns try to go from here.



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user ratings (19)
2.9
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Asdfp277
October 17th 2017


23350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it feels at times that you're describing what could be interpreted as drone and noise music but implying they're inherently bad, which might be a problem of the reviewer rather than the album. it's almost as if not playing exactly what they're expected to do -- noise rock -- is by itself wrong



but overall, good review -- i totally get what you mean by everything, and you counteract the problem i mentioned with the third paragraph, in which you explain some compositional problems and what seemed wrong to you in its' more basic aspects

Jots
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2017


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah the 3rd para more or less sums up why i didn't rly vibe with this.

BMDrummer
October 17th 2017


14692 Comments


i still enjoyed this tbh, but can see why people don't dig

unfun stuff

cylinder
October 18th 2017


1507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

disappointing album ye

luckdaboss
October 20th 2017


37 Comments


This album cover just looks like a K-Mart Tame Impala's Currents

Lavair
October 20th 2017


949 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I agree, luckdaboss. Check my soundoff.



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