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Psychedelic Horseshit
Laced Steph Kretowicz , May 19th, 2011 10:45

Subtlety has never been a strong point for Psychedelic Horseshit – even if band leader Matt Whitehurst's creative vision is an illusive one. To describe any one of his assemblies of noise and sampling 'songs' is arguable, he's wasted little time in establishing his own cult of personality. No one could accuse him of eloquence in his interviews and the band's ironic sense of humour has been carried to such a level that some people erroneously think that Psychedelic Horseshit is some kind of Absurdist stunt. Yet, investing six years of life on the creative margins of Columbus, Ohio seems like a big effort for an elaborate joke, even for someone like Whitehurst, and here he presents another album to discredit said theory.

As Psychedelic Horseshit and Columbus buddies Times New Viking attempt a move away from their association with the rapid rise and fall of 'lo-fi' it's been interesting to see how their roads have diverged. There's Times New Viking, taking on the global touring circuit and quality studio production, while Whitehurst declares he's cleaning up his act, signs to legendary UK label FatCat records and adds Nicole Bland to a line-up that includes bassist Jason Roxas and drummer Rich Johnston. However, despite Whitehurst's protestations, 'Clean' is a flat-out misrepresentation of this record. Such is his distorted universe of flea market finds and creative chaos. This third, maybe second, but definitely not his first (as per the FatCat press release) long-player, Laced is not so much a step out of the 'lo-fi gutter' but a clearer expression of what that gutter sounds like.

There are his lyrics, previously buried under layers of aural sediment, that become exposed with all their ambiguity and neo-surrealist automatism. Gone is the snarky, weird malevolence of 'New Wave Hippies'. Instead Whitehurst morosely capitulates, "do what you're told / and you'll have it made," over the conversely cheery afro-beats of 'French Countryside', before words collapse into unfinished sentences and apparent jibberish. The Tropicana of older track 'Tropical Vision' and chafing repetition of 'I Hate the Beach' are lifted out of the mix by a sample of vinyl noise recorded from a turntable running through one track to the other. Whitehurst and company still refuse to give any sound or sample precedence in the mix, which serves to effectively assault and oppress its listener with the sheer breadth and scope of their ideas; harassing them with their own genius. Ultimately, Where Times New Viking's anti-pop sloganeering becomes willingly absorbed into the very industry it ridicules, Psychedelic Horseshit offers it's vulgar Dylan-isms and musical discord as a brilliant inability to relate.