PSYCHOMAGIC"Bad Ideas" (Curly Cassettes)

Portland's Psychomagic offer up their first tape on "Bad Ideas", their sophomore album release. As I listened to the opening cut, Go Go Ladies (From Outer Space), I was immediately reminded of that surf-party recipe that made The B-52's so compelling. But as Your Lover and the third track, Gumball Crazy were quick to demonstrate, this band is so much more than that. The five-piece (two guitars, keys, bass and drums) exhibit a vast array of influences and have that rare magic touch that allows everything to sound remarkably familiar yet retain the bands uniqueness throughout. All ten original compositions exemplify the band's trademark punk and garage stylings yet the craftsmanship and production take the whole affair up a notch or two.

Diverse similarity, if such a thing is possible, is rampant throughout. A love-sick Transylvanian, a mind warped cult member and other off the beaten path characters parade through these songs. One after another, in spite of the zaniness, they, wrapped in catchy hooks and clever phrasing, suck you in and leave you wanting more until the next cut starts the process yet again. And so it goes throughout the tape leaving you only coming up for air long enough to flip it over.

Willamette Week, a paper in their hometown, awarded them finalists in their yearly best new band category while describing them as "a broken kaleidoscope designed to give flower children bad trips." In truth, the songs that singer/guitarist Steven Fusco and drummer Anthony Brisson write are both compelling and enjoyable listening. The album was recorded and released on those "other" formats by L.A.'s Lollipop Records with the tape being issued in November of 2015 on Curly Cassettes (

-- Bob Zilli