It’s rare that a metal song can make me laugh out loud to the point that tears are streaming down my face; in fact I’m pretty sure the only time anything metal-related has had such an affect on me is listening to Richard Cheese’s version of Slipknot. Imagine my surprise when the whole of Psychostick’s album had me in stitches. I don’t want to oversell this, but ‘Revenge of the Vengeance’ may be my favourite thing to happen to metal in recent years! Since the album has twenty-one songs on it, I can’t review each one, so here are a few highlights.
Unaware of this when I started this review, I have previously heard of Psychostick before as one of their songs, ‘Grow a Beard’, is popular on YouTube. As far as metal goes, it’s brilliant. It’s a great example of powerful thrash, featuring a great guitar sound, and stereotypical thrash vocals and energy. But the humour value is so much more effective. They have tapped into the trend of beards, and their manly subtext, to create this comedic masterpiece, which includes some great one-liners that make you go “What did I just hear?”, such as “Chewbacca is a beard!”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Beards”
“Oh my God Becky, look at his beard”
“Shut up Grandma, grow a beard!”
It’s a great introduction for anyone who hasn’t heard Psychostick before, as it shows their capabilities as musicians, as well as their humorous side.
Personally, I love fifth track “So Heavy”. It takes all the components of heavy metal whilst pointing out clichés that can be found in the genre. The lyrics are brilliantly silly.
“This song is so heavy, it makes you want to punch a tornado” and then talking about on stage posing, and describing exactly what they’re doing in the song musically:
“This chorus is nothing but growling”.
I listen to a lot of music like this, and I love it, but it’s refreshing to have someone point out the often overused conventions, whilst managing to use them effectively.
A highlight for me is “Dogs Like Socks” which is to metal what Snakes On A Plane was to movies, which is to say, extremely appropriately named. The whole song is from the perspective of a dog, who wants to play with socks. Hearing someone growl “Om Nom Nom” tickled my funny bone, no end, as did the image of a venue full of metalheads throwing down to the lyrics, which describe the dynamics of a game of fetch (which I would absolutely join in with).
“Blue Screen” is a complete change of pace, taking a sobre tone, with the subject of, you guessed it, computers crashing. What’s great about this is that anyone who has had a crash and lost files can completely understand the pain brought about, and will agree that Psychostick chose the tone for this song perfectly. “I feel as blue as my screen” is an example of the lyrics in this track. It might be too cheesy for some, but I say bring on the cheese!
Finally, the song “Fight to the Death” is a song I can, sadly, almost relate to, as it talks about fighting to the death… over the last slice of pizza (oh come on, we’ve all almost been there… right?)! The ferocity of the song and the punching bass make it exciting and an excellent example of speed/thrash metal, but the pure silliness of the concept of the song cracks me up every time, without fail. The song ends with the premise that they are going to fight to the death over chores: “fight to the death, there’s a dish in the sink.”
Musically, I love this album. It’s got everything a fan of thrash, such as myself, could desire. The comedy involved is a huge bonus but only to the people listening to the album (people who hear giggling for about ten minutes and just hear “they’re talking about a crazy duck” don’t immediately understand what’s going on). The outtakes at the end are an added bonus, that really seal the deal for me. This album won’t be for everyone, I can imagine a lot of people asking “What’s the point?” but having a laugh, and listening to great metal at the same time, is the point for me.
Review by Eileen Bate]]>