“Ihre ganze Unterseite sind gehören uns!”
The Psychedelic Avengers are a band from Germany that have recently come out with a two disc psychedelic space opera called The Psychedelic Avengers and the Decterian Blood Empire. (I think was the first time I used the word “psychedelic” three times in one sentence.) This album is guaranteed to take listeners on one hell of a freaky mind trip. Imagine living inside a B-rated sci-fi movie while tripping on acid. That’s what it’s like to listen to The Psychedelic Avengers.
Every song from their new album has a strange, translunar quality that seems to lift you from earth’s reality for a bit. Take “The tears of the Lyehsis” for example, an instrumental track off of the first disc. It quite clearly takes elements from both funk and jam bands and fuses them together, but it also has a unique otherwordliness that takes it beyond such a simple combination. One could imagine a band of green, tentacled extraterrestials performing this music in an alien bar or space travelers playing it on the speakers of their ship as they float around in zero g.
I remember having similar images come to my head when I talked about The Psychedelic Avengers in an earlier post, but I disagree with some of the things I said after relistening to their old material and hearing some of their new stuff. For example, I said that The Psychedelic Avengers should stick to the instrumental work and leave out the vocals. I think that was mostly a reaction to one of their songs called “The Curse of the Universe” in which the vocals weren’t all that strong. In fact, they sounded silly and out of place. But in “A spy named Vela Brown” the vocal work is very smooth and trippy. It fits well in a psychedelic space opera. It almost has the feel of a James Bond theme song, just with a mellower male vocalist. And the vocals in “They’ve broken through on the 20th Moon of the Kaobigoo, or as Captain Herb P. Croudak lost his mind” are just downright catchy if not weird and spacey.
I also complained that the sci-fi ambience was overdone sometimes. Specifically with incredibly wordy song titles. They’ve continued that trend in this album with songs called “In which the colony on Penubis 5 is being completely annihilated by decterian blood demons” and the previously mentioned “They’ve broken through on the 20th Moon of the Kaobigoo, or as Captain Herb P. Croudak lost his mind.” The Psychedelic Avengers certainly do get very involved with the sci-fi world they create, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I first wrote about them. Song titles don’t necessarily have to be dumbed down to something short, sweet, and memorable for mass consumption. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a title is a lot more than just a label used for organizational purposes; a title can also be used as a very brief form of creative expression. So if The Psychedelic Avengers want to spend more than one line of text communicating ideas in their titles then more power to them. I think it further sets them apart from the rest of crowd and expresses the intent of their music. I do have problems with the grammar and spelling in some of their song titles (when they say “as Captain Herb P. Croudak lost his mind” I think they mean “has Captain Herb P. Croudak lost his mind”), but that doesn’t really have anything to do with the music so just forget that I mentioned it.
Although I do have one other trifling problem with The Psychedelic Avengers that does relate to their music. It’s something I had an issue with before and is still bugging me. During some of the songs, they’ll have a pretty consistent vibe going and then something will come in that doesn’t quite fit and it takes you out of the moment. For example, the song “Voices in the dark, the madness and the death of an immortal sungod” starts off sounding pretty somber with a hint of chaos, then a chorus of deep male voices comes in saying, “Shoo kooky jee jon.” They sounded so goofy that I stopped, stared at my monitor in confusion, and thought, “What the hell?” That strange little chorus took me out of the song and I couldn’t really get back into it as much as I would have liked to.
Fortunately, being inconsistent within a song with isn’t that big a problem with The Psychedelic Avengers and the Decterian Blood Empire since most of the tracks keep a steady emotional pace. Plus, some of my favorite albums have one or two weak tracks on them, so I would say that this album isn’t going to get screwed up by one single song. Overall, I would say that The Psychedelic Avengers do a stellar job (Get it? “Stellar”?) and they get the Rival Dave Seal of Approval.
Buy The Psychedelic Avengers and the Decterian Blood Empire by The Psychedelic Avengers
The Psychedelic Avengers – The tears of the Lyehsis
The Psychedelic Avengers – A spy named Vela Brown
The Psychedelic Avengers – They’ve broken through on the 20th Moon of the Kaobigoo, or as Captain Herb P. Croudak lost his mind
By the way, the caption under the photo is an English to German translation of the phrase “All your base are belong to us!” provided by Babel Fish. I’m guessing the translation came out horrifically wrong, but I thought it was appropriate considering who today’s band was.