Released: 2009, Rock Ridge Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I’d seen a lot of adds for Psychostick’s new album, SANDWICH, so I figured I’d take the plunge and see what the fuss was about. Branded as “humorcore,” my expectations were admittedly low. Yeah, I’d bought a couple of Scatterbrain records back in the day, but the goof rock thing gets awfully gimmicky awfully quick. So imagine my surprise as I found myself laughing out loud, track after ridiculous track, eager to hear what nonsense was to follow.
Psychostick is a five-piece based out of Arizona that’s been trudging around for a few years now with a couple of indie releases under their belts already. Musically, the band is a hybrid of hardcore, thrash, and traditional metal, with the conceptual focus on making their audiences (and themselves) laugh. The music isn’t groundbreaking and takes a back seat to the jokes, but as a complete package, SANDWICH is actually a good album that is genuinely funny. SANDWICH has a food-centric theme; songs about food, songs about being broke and fantasizing about food, songs about roommates eating your food, you get the idea. There’re some non-food topics, such as “A Lesson in Modesty” and “P is the Best Letter,” each song being an espousal of how awesome the band and the individual members are, but the best songs on the album have some relation to your grocery store list.
“This is Not a Song, It’s a Sandwich” attempts to define all of the ways that the song is indeed not a song at all, nor is it a beer, a stoner, or an Olsen twin, and manages to do so surprisingly convincingly. “#1 Radio $ingle” accurately sums up the music industry formula for a pop-chart hit, stalling for the next chorus and strategically inserting oohs and ahhs. “Passive Vengeance” hilariously details less than obvious tactics of revenge, while “Girl Directions” addresses the direction giving techniques of the fairer sex. But the most bizarre song on SANDWICH is the 14-minute “373 Thank Yous,” in which the band thanks the 373 people by name who helped finance the creation of the album, all set to some pseudo thrash riffs. Beats a mention in the liner notes, right?
Is Psychostick going to win any awards or make any top ten lists with SANDWICH? Errr, probably not, but it’s a fun listen all the same. If you can get past the slow ramp up past the first few songs, SANDWICH is an enjoyable disc from a band that doesn’t take anything too seriously. It’s a nice change of pace in a scene where the angriest bands usually get the most attention.