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Psychic Twin, Strange Diary (Polyvinyl Records)




The Brevet, Embers: Ch. 2

No-brainer sports-bar ambiance in this apparent tease EP for the second album from this Irvine, California, band, who’ve been quietly building a buzz, at least finding ways to huckster their songs onto TV show soundtracks for 90210 and The Good Lie et al. This is neo-MOR stuff that’s no edgier than anything you’ve heard on any daytime soccer-mom chatterbox show, and in fact there’s mention on the press release that they had something to do with American Idol — what, do random Cali bands make appearances on there? I’m serious, I’ve never watched that show once, ever. But this all makes sense, of course, it’s blatant sellout-pop-rock, they’re from Cali and their singer, Aric Chase Damm, is a Followill wannabe. Most of this agreeable but contrived Americana-rock is a bold pastiche of Mumfords, Kings of Leon and whatever’s on the hayloft-indie front-burner over at Arts & Crafts Records these days. No, the songs are fine, if a bit disposable — we’ve seen this kind of thing before and will again; any sea change in pop music’s direction results in 90 million Cali bands myna-birding the sound, popping up like giant, stinky, puffy mushrooms and getting just enough attention to make their moms proud, not that success should be defined any more specifically than that. B — Eric W. Saeger




Psychic Twin, Strange Diary (Polyvinyl Records)
CD Reviews: September 1, 2016

09/01/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 Psychic Twin, Strange Diary (Polyvinyl Records)

I can appreciate that this debut LP is essentially a sharing of the full range of emotions singer-leader Erin Fein experienced during a knock-down drag-out divorce that went on for too long and affected her mindset while living in both Champaign, Illinois, and Brooklyn. I’m sure this was as cathartic for her as it was tedious for me, even if tedious is a bit more negative than would be warranted, but I’m only saying that to be nice. Frankly, I’m embarrassed for her, a little. Not only is the album title itself a dull thud, but nothing much happens in the way of hookage or groove throughout any of these proceedings. The promised trappings are certainly in my comfort zone, with influences like Cocteau Twins and Siouxsie, but there’s less swoosh and spookiness than glorified Nintendo and, well, early Madonna, which is what Fein’s voice resembles. The beats are mostly dead on arrival, and that goes double for the amateurish wub-wub on “Stop in Time.” I’m sure she’s a nice, worthwhile person, OK, and I was rooting for this to be good, but, well, oh boy. C- 





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