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Psychic Equalizer: Revealed

My initial encounter with this outfit, who were back then a ‘project’, came through the album The Lonely Traveller; a near instrumental act of eclecticism that refused to compromise. The follow up album, last years The Sixth Extinction, found a slightly more conventional approach adopted with the inclusion of singer India Hooi allowing the band’s more extravagant exercises to be tempered by a song based approach. “Unveiled”, the opening track on the Revealed EP, however makes no apologies for being an 80s pop-prog homage that finds a Kate Bush like edge in Hooi’s voice that when accompanied by electronic snare snaps and echoing staccato riffs lands right in the middle of a remarkably retro slice of accessibility. To me it’s a jarring move and when some of the percussive moments clatter to a cluttered crescendo one that has proved a little difficult to connect with.

From there “Summer Clouds” pulls in a jazzy piano line courtesy of band leader Hugo Selles, while a sumptuous string backing gives Hooi room to really stretch out. With “Away” pulling things into an austere situ through strings, voice and acoustic guitar, there’s a tenderness here that contradicts the opening salvo yet more, before “Lost In The Universe” shouts and barks itself into a prog metal position that confuses matters deeper - a piano/keys pay-off coming replete with swishing hi-hats that once more whisk us back some 35 years or so.

Oddly, in the case of Psychic Equalizer, all of this varied pushing and shoving happens in a way that actually makes this EP more song based than anything I’ve experienced from them before and while in isolation the tracks are all rewarding in their on way, taken as a whole I find the intention just a little beyond my grasp. The closing number, an acoustic take on the band’s own “Lonely Soul”, brings the mood right back into the more emotive side of proceedings and does so with some grace. Oddly however, the two songs that step farthest from expectations - “Unveiled” and “Lost In The Universe” - while both interesting in their own right, somehow feel like they fall outside of the EPs design.

More confusing than disappointing, Revealed continues Psychic Equalizer’s idiosyncratic journey and while it maybe doesn’t hit the spot for me as precisely as their previous work, the vary fact that they refuse to conform is the very reason they remain intriguing.

Track Listing
1. Unveiled
2. Summer Clouds
3. Away
4. Lost In The Universe
5. Lonely Soul

Added: May 3rd 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Psychic Equalizer online
Hits: 469
Language: english

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