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Music Review

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Live at the Smokehouse


Artist: Psychic Lemon
Label: Tonzonen Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 26 April 2019

Tonzonen Records releases Live at the Smokehouse, by experimental rock band Psychic Lemon – available on limited edition orange and green splatter vinyl and CD. The band consists of Andy Briston on guitar and synths, Andy Hibberd on bass, and Martin Law on drums. They first got together in 2014 in Cambridge, where they still rehearse today. Their first album was Psychic Lemon (2016), followed by Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay (2018); this is their third full release...

Live at the Smokehouse was recorded in Ipswitch on 10 August 2018. The first side of the disc features three tracks from their previous album, Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay: 'Interstellar Fuzz Star', 'Satori Disko', and 'Hey Droog!' The second side is made up of two new tracks: 'Jonny Marvel at the Milky Way', and 'White Light'. The former of these last two is a tribute to their greatest fan, who became a good friend and has, sadly, passed on.

When I received this for review all I saw in my mind’s eye was Blind Lemon, before I suddenly realised it was a group I had never come across before. The music of Psychic Lemon has been described in several different genre combinations. They themselves prefer Krautfunk (strange, as they are English). I would classify them as Psychedelic Space Rock. The music is instrumental, and in the vein of experimental jamming. To find their purpose the tracks are all upwards of six minutes – two of them over ten minutes.

If you like some of the earlier Tangerine Dream albums, or Pink Floyd in their weirdly brilliant UFO Club era ('Interstellar Overdrive', etc.) you’re almost certain to like this. It generally takes a simple melody and builds/plays around with the theme. Personally, I enjoyed this outing, but could only appreciate it fully in small doses of two tracks at a time. It gets a bit too much after that, and you start to lose your grip on it. Having said that, I’d much rather listen to hours of this than inane commercial pop which begins to grate a lot earlier. The odd thank you to the audience from the band is very low in the mix and barely audible. But it’s not a necessity; it’s the music we’re here for.


Ty Power

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