Psychic Ills + Föllakzoid at Empty Bottle | Concert preview
New Yorkers and Chileans offer variations on psychedelia.
Psychedelia is as essential a component to Psychic Ills as the name would suggest, but the band has never been pigeonholed by the genre. With its 2006 debut, Dins, the group made plain its appreciation for stoned kraut grooves, which it seasoned with a New Yorker’s sense of paranoia. But since then it’s alternately released avant-noise, synth-heavy rock stuff and most recently, on new album One Track Mind, dour pop tracks better suited to SoCal residents than black-clad city dwellers.
This embrace of songcraft allows for established tropes like a proper chorus on the tune “Might Take a While,” something Psychic Ills’ earlier efforts often skirted. But that move toward the slower-paced, shoegaze side of psych has more to do with the ever-evolving nature of the band than anything concerning current underground fads, perhaps part of some pact to never repeat itself.
Conversely, supporting act Föllakzoid has followed a singular musical path. Born out of a childhood friendship, the Chilean quartet rides extended, hash-infused jams winding around repetitive rhythms, not unlike the Ills’ earliest efforts. It’s a unilateral approach that limits Föllakzoid to composing in two tempos: plodding and chugging. Yet there’s an assured aesthetic at work on its second full-length, II, making the group somewhat of a South American analog to Chicago’s CAVE.