Review: Psychic Limb – ‘Queens’

Posted on 23/06/2011

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Finally, finally, finally. At long last, I’ve been able to listen to enigmatic New York – based hardcore group Psychic Limb‘s first release, the twelve savage rushes of energy that make up Queens. The band has absolutely no presence on the internet, and, for unknown reasons, they refuse to put out their music through any medium other than vinyl. I’d been trying to track down music by them for quite a while, ever since watching videos of a few absolutely manic performances at the Cake Shop in NY. Pretty frustrating not to be able to properly listen to their music after being so impressed by their live show.

Thankfully, it was inevitable that this would end up online somehow, and goddamn it was worth the wait. The band plays lightning fast grind/hardcore in the vein of Gaza, but without a hint of slowing down. The group is ridiculously tight, maintaining an unhinged intensity throughout the paltry ten minutes that is the album, and the vocals are absolutely ferocious. I almost feel sorry for the group’s drummer, piling an exhausting amount of blast beats over riff after tasty riff. While the songs on Queens are untitled, every short, unnamed burst adds to the album’s overall violent, bleak effect; crushing, though not oppressive.

It’s refreshing to hear a band this intent and focused, as many artists within this genre tend to fall into the trap of including unnecessary, lengthy and slow tracks alongside otherwise fast and abrasive songs. Psychic Limb steers clear of this route, with all but two songs clocking in under the one-minute mark, ensuring a consistently caustic listening experience. This record supplies zero breathing space, with each song holding a relentless pace. I could point to every track as an example here, but see ‘Untitled 11′ for a taste of Psychic Limb’s angular, unwavering efforts. In all its 57 seconds, the song finds time not only for the brand of shock-and-awe grind showcased on the rest of the album, but also includes something resembling a shout-along refrain, which is about as close as this release ever gets to a chorus. The music on Queens is almost entirely linear, with no time wasted considering conventional song structures, and it all builds into a well-rehearsed, entertaining chaos.

I’ve not had this album for long at all, but it’s already one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Listen to this at all cost, whether Psychic Limb wants you to or not.

Rating: 4/5

Download: Psychic Limb – Queens

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