ALBUMs REVIEW: Psychic Lemon – ‘Psychic Lemon’ and ‘Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay’

If you’re looking to be amazed by a new band emerging in the past few years, Psychic Lemon is a name for you. They find themselves in very good company on today’s UK psychedelic music scene, but there is something about their striking appetite for richness and intensity in sound which makes their two albums, so far, irresistible. Try any of the albums openers, TiCkToK or Exit to the Death Lane, and you’ll be on a discovery path for an innovative combination of psych rock elements.

Their debut self-titled album was released in 2016 via Drone Rock Records. It was entirely recorded in their own small home-built studio in the back of a small garden in Cambridge, five minutes away from Syd Barrett’s old place. Same studio was home to their second album, Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, out on Tonzonen Records early this year.

It’s quite difficult to relate on Psychic Lemon in terms other than superlative when they have such a generous sound and great vibrancy. Each and every track is made to entertain, stimulate and challenge your auditory perception, with exceptional dynamics and clear and sharp vision of what they want to deliver.

Psychic Lemon‘s debut album starts off with TiCkToK, an amazing opening track built around a perfectly executed bass riff in an intense combination of droning sounds, vocals and flute. The jazzy flute strikes back on the next song Death Cult Blues, a nine-minute mash of Hawkwind vs Jethro Tull driving mind-warping sounds. Good Cop Bad Cop moves towards funk and prog-rock fusion with clear and sharp instrumentation on excellent harmony lines. Dilator and Horizon are two good illustrations of motorik beat unexpectedly merging with various influences resulting in original uplifting pieces of great sound.

Psychic Lemon was such a fulfilling album that a comparison with the following Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay is meaningless in the sense that the second release simply pursues the assenting path they’ve secured for themselves. Personally, I can’t say which album I like best, although a change in sound is noticeable, probably also because now they play in a three-piece band formula instead of four, a challenge they overcome by adding new layers of sound to the already rich sound combination. 

Exit to the Death Lane is another great piece of dynamic work of wonder while Hey Droog! successfully brings fuzzy electrifying guitars into the spotlight. The following tracks thrive with extended jam session flavour and astonishing moments of sound radiance, such as the saxophone on You’re No Good, or the unpredictable rhythmicity on Interstellar Fuzz Star, a ten-minute grand mixture of distorted instrumentation with motorik patterns and deep resonance. If the fast pace cools downs on Satori Disko, the intensity stays high and the droned texture is brilliantly blended on a hypnotic drumming with electric guitar effects, distorted bass and again saxophone.

Psychic Lemon is a band where brains and imagination meet artistic precision and craftsmanship.  For them, the Difficult Second Album Syndrome has never existed, on the contrary, those lucky enough to have noticed them now find themselves in a feverish anticipation of more Psychic Lemon experience.

photography Wallace Dickinson


Psychic Lemon – Interstellar Fuzz Star 

Band members

  • Andy Briston — Guitar, vocals, keyboard, loops, acoustic guitar
  • Andy Hibberd — Bass guitar, studio architect
  • Martin Law — Drums, percussion

Special guest: Iain Roddick — Saxophone


Author: ywannish