The five members of Psymbience describe their music as a strange mix of Pink Floyd, Tool and Primus, and who am I to argue with that assessment? After all, the middle section of "Synchronic" from the band's debut Is sounds more like Floyd's "Run Like Hell" than anything, and the pseudo-friendly voice-overs in "Aurora" echo Les Claypool in one of his goofy moods.
But perhaps that's the problem with Is and, to a larger extent, with Psymbience. In the process of trying to shatter genre boundaries and marketing conventions, this American band either tries too hard to emulate its heroes or drowns itself in cumbersome lyrics: "Freewill grants the instincts for revenge/And the alternate necessity for movement within/To interpret wrongly with assumption/Consumes the merciful voice." By alternating extremely long tracks (up to 11 and a half minutes) with extremely short ones (less than two minutes) while a guy with an unremarkable voice sings phrases like that, Psymbience continually teases its listeners and tests their level of commitment. This record lacks cohesion and direction, but it shouldn't. These guys can play, and you know that simmering just below the surface of Is awaits a great progressive and psychedelic jazz-rock album.
Let it loose, boys.