VARIOUS ARTISTS - Friendly Psychics Music Volume 1 (1999-2006)

Various Artists - Friendly Psychics Music Volume 1 (1999-2006)

19 songs
62:30 minutes
***** ****
Friendly Psychics Music

Friendly Psychics Music is a label of bands that never play together. As all members live in different US states, they send each other their parts on discs and everyone adds their own parts. Quite unusual, but the past showed that it worked well for Upstate and Wicked Immigrant whose albums I received about two years ago. Now there's a compilation presenting what five bands have done during the last seven years. The label bosses John Wenzel and Dan Miller are present in four respectively five bands while there are nine more members in the other bands. Instead of playing soccer, these eleven musicians formed the five bands below.

There are five songs by Upstate, an acoustic driven rock band with a dark and sad touch. Even if a song like Whatever It Wants To Be contains a longer guitar solo, Upstate are not a hard band. They never lose the right feeling for cool melodies and show that mellow music can contain much more depth than a simple campfire atmosphere.

Not too different from Upstate are Wicked Immigrant that have also five songs on this compilation. Most of their music is acoustic and the melancholic vocals sound very dreamy. My two favourite songs (Pyramid Law, Veranda Myth) from their CDs have been chosen for the record. Whenever my dog is a bit excited, Wicked Immigrant is the ideal music to calm him down and make him stop barking.

Dishwater Psychics are playing three songs on this record. They are another band playing music made to lay back and listen to, but their Americana roots are stronger. I especially like Blueprint Of A God thanks to the distorted vocals. I could imagine Dishwater Psychics on the soundtrack for "O Brother, Where Are Thou?".

Bullet Gastino are playing straighter lo-fi rock with distortions and coughing parts. On both songs, the singer is convincing, showing parallels to Robert Wyatt and David Byrne. It's a pity that there are only two songs by Bullet Gastino.

The last band offering two songs on the compilation is Tarantula Dinner Party, the rockers on the album. They play distorted noise close to Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Monster Magnet.

Friendly Psychics Music certainly isn't the busiest label I know, but their outputs have so far always been of high quality. The same must be said about this compilation giving you an interesting overview of a fantastic and rather special label.

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