Psych-Out Christmas- Luder- Okta Logue- Chris Forsyth

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A Christmas freak-out and some super-psych for your new year!

Psych-Out Christmas
(Various artists)

Cleopatra

As the Cosmonauts sing in "It's Christmas Day," "It's Christmas Day in my mind…," and that's exactly where this 17-track compilation lives no matter what the season. Quintron & Miss Pussycat set their instrumental version of "Silent Night" to an insistent bass choogle and use just quavering organ for the melody; the band's other contribution (they're the only act to get two slots) is a brief, circus-like take on "Jingle Bell Rock." The Candy Store tune into the sound of '60s girl groups with "Frosty the Snowman," The Vacant Lots cover Suicide with an interpretation of "No More Christmas Blues" and Psychic Ills take classic Chuck Berry riffs to fuzz guitar heaven on "Run Rudolph Run." Fans of Nuggets-style compilations will love this set that wraps up with Iggy Pop crooning "White Christmas."

Luder
Adelphophagia

Small Stone

The title of this album refers to a type of cannibalism that takes place in certain organisms and if you want you can interpret that as a reference to how thoughts can swallow each other under the influence of psychedelic substances. Better yet, forget any possible meaning and just dig the music: a pastiche of slow, loping rhythms, fuzzy guitars and floating-in-the-ether vocals from bass player Sue Lott. A tribal drumbeat provides the backbone for "Dirge;" the rhythm is not quite Native American but the song would certainly not be out of place as an accompaniment to a peyote trip. Included amongst the impressive set of originals here is also a take on David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans."

Okta Logue
Tales of Transit City

The End

Without sounding like a clone of either, Okta Logue seem to be highly influenced by the psychedelic sides of acts like the Byrds and the Beatles. There's some Neil Young influence to be heard too; "Transit" uses a luxurious Crazy Horse-style guitar track while the weepy guitar in "Dream On" will bring Young to mind for many. No freak-outs here, just good '60s-style psych pop like the Zombies-flavored "Let Go" and Floydian numbers like "Cats in the Alley" and "Just to Fall Asleep."

Chris Forsyth
Solar Motel

Paradise of Bachelors

There are four songs on this album, or you could say just one: the four-part "Solar Motel" suite. At first it seems as if the offering, beginning with only a guitar riff played over and over, might be an experimental piece. But ever-so-slowly other instrumentation is added and by about six minutes into "Solar Motel Part I" the full band is playing over the riff, quite frenetically and on the verge of a freak-out. The tone of the guitar changes for "Part II" but the layering-on technique is followed, at a little over 12-minutes "Part III" is the longest track, giving it time to transit the space between the song's slow and dreamy beginning to the Americana-influenced sproinging guitars of the piece's later portion while "Part IV" is a bit more effects-laden. Forsyth's four-piece backing band includes a rhythm section and two keys players and the soundscapes are all instrumental; without words to be concerned with your room at the Solar Motel can be anywhere you want it to be.

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