Psychedelic Horseshit

Magic Flowers Droned

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The facile comparison one might pick up upon first listen to Psychedelic Horseshit's Magic Flowers Droned is that of early Pavement (just as the facile comparison for early Pavement is early Swell Maps), but that would only scratch the surface, and it does injustice to the fertile spawning ground for the lo-fi "messthetics" of this Ohio outfit. The underground has sarcastically dubbed this movement "shitgaze," in obvious satire of the early-'90s British shoegaze phenomenon, and it descends from a long line of acts centered around the Siltbreeze label. Nit-picking aside, the cardboard box kick drum and beer-stained four-track recorder grot of this band's debut full-length does indeed bear a separated-at-birth resemblance to the early EPs by Malkmus and co. (collected on the Westing (By Musket and Sextant) LP). The bratty D.I.Y. crud of the overall sound of this recording can't completely mask the snark and ennui of some very clever, and yes, musical, songwriting in the vein of Paul Westerberg at his most bilious. The off-putting screech and splatter of failed experiments like the Beach Boys parody "Bad Vibrations" and the pointless in-joke "Mash Up: Psychedelic Horseshit vs. Space Age Lucifer (Which Side Are You On?)," which only serves to alienate all but the most aggro noise lover, is balanced by the essentially tuneful playfulness of nihilistic scene commentaries like "Nothing Is Revealed," "Rather Dull," and "New Wave Hippies." Despite the self-sabotaging ethos of this band and their ilk, repeated listenings (the entire album clocks in at just over 30 minutes) will eventually bear fruit and assure the open-minded listener that some future potential for beauty lies in the heart of this scruffy beast.

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