Icelandic group Singapore Sling pin their flag quite firmly to the mask with this title and that sleeve art: Psych Fuck emblazed in giant capital letters. There’s more to this record than a garagey torrent however: the group have a great feel for dark, simmering, Suicide-esque vibes. Out on the Fuzz Club label.
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Here’s a psych rock band playing their own version of Game For A Laugh by calling themselves Singapore Sling while actually living, creating and hibernating in that sweetest of iced islands, Iceland. Split into two distinct halves, known separately as ‘Psych’ and ‘Fuck’ (though in some ways, the words are synonymous), this crew borrow from the disgruntled sound of the Jesus and Mary Chain and Suicide by creating an almost hateful counterpoint to dream pop, while also playing with pedals, twinkling keys and a classic rawk reverence. Despite its self-constraints -- misanthropy and repetition -- this is a fun, even nostalgic record of cool dude guitar fuzz.
It’s a track like “AEJL” that best demarcates Singapore Sling’s musical interests, using shining synths but burying them underneath lots of that distortion thing. The vocals, toned like Lou Reed at his least well-humoured, make it all sound serious and sonorous, while the additive synth melody offers a giggling second iteration of the band. Similarly, “Na Na Now” baits its slick groove with scarring guitar noise, echoing the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s penchant for making ominous music sound chill as fuck. A ruinous riff opens “Try” before a vocal straight out of a childhood nightmare takes things into a different plane entirely -- this record is a game of bait and switch with atmosphere, and keeping up is half the fun.
‘Psych’ and ‘Fuck’ are only different in minor ways, though the sprinkler-pipetting drum machines of “Dive In” and “Give Me Some Other” stress the levity of the band’s sound over the grumpiness -- on the latter, the band prove that amidst the psych fog, all you need is the smallest of melodic inflections to make a good song (in this case, pushing "give me some other heart" into "give me some other hea-aaaart"). All in all, I like to think this band are having a nice time first, and feeling miffed about their raining universe as an afterthought.
7/10 The Doc Customer review, 4th May 2016
Depending on which way you want to look at it, it's either a reflection of the breadth and diversity of the scene that a record like this can be described as 'psych' - no matter what the title may be - or just a complete mislabelling of the band. Whichever slant you prefer, this is well worth a listen. It's basically just an homage to the Mary Chain, replete with cheesy. angsty lyrics ("All I want is to be in hell/down at the bottom of a deep deep well" "Give me some other head.....this one's all messed up") and laconic Reid brothers delivery, scuzzy guitars abounding and a deep bass throb backing everything up.
It's not going to win any points for originality but it's pretty sincere with it and despite on first listen sounding somewhat generic, it stands up to repeated listening to reveal charms all of its own.
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- Psych Fuck by Singapore Sling
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