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Yellow Swans - Psychic Secession

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Artist: Yellow Swans

Album: Psychic Secession

Label: Load

Review date: Jun. 7, 2006

Like any good denizens of the loosely organized Hanson noise family, Yellow Swans put out new music every 11 days or so. Usually, there’s a “D” at the beginning of the name, which stands for various things and fucks up the alphabetics of it all. This time, as on the 2004 album Bring The Neon War Home, it’s just Yellow Swans. Appropriate enough, as everything about this platter, as was the case with Neon War, seems big, important, “proper.”

There ain’t much to go by, but the fragmentary lyrics suggest a extrication from a sociopolitical reality that’s gotten too greasy to stomach. “From false election to fear conspiracy,” goes the title track, “I had to change my mind / Psychic secession / I had to change my mind.” Make of that what you will; there’s nothing else. That is, until “I Woke Up”: “I woke up to the end of electricity / I woke up outside of time / I woke up with dreams in my life.” It seems that in the aughties, power electronics, a genre traditionally reserved for misanthropic art-dorks, is now the domain of throwback hippies, blasting their brains into utopian oblivion.

Whatever your ends, if it’s a mental cleansing you need, Psychic Secession is up to it. In contrast with most of the more subterranean DYS releases, this’un sounds crisp and true, firing on all cylinders at every layer. Even as the lyrics preach detachment, the garbled racket engages the senses, ready or not.

There is some structure to the steady catharsis, although it takes some time to reveal itself. After the cerebral battery of “The Union” and “Psychic Secession,” “I Woke Up” sounds practically danceable, employing reverb effects to create row-row-row-your-boat rhythms that almost sound like dub.

On the exhilarating “Velocity of the Yolk,” Eva Inca Ore takes the mic and gives us a wordless workout, and it’s vintage – “psychedelic scat” isn’t even close. A caffeinated first-grader would be loathe to sustain Ore’s energy level. As usual, she’s way too low in the mix. But no one else could take this album home with such graceful abandon.

By Emerson Dameron

Other Reviews of Yellow Swans

Bring the Neon War Home

Against Sleep and Nightmare

At All Ends / Decension Yellow Swans


Going Places

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Load

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