Japanese all-girl psyche-surf pop tril Buffalo Daugher make good with PSYCHIC, which includes the legendary 20+ minute track, "303 Live."
Where previous Buffalo Daughter albums had flirted round the fringes of the shibuya-kei movement, with their eclectic influences and quirky, cut-and-paste approach to songwriting, Pshychic sees the band express a different side of their character. With only five tracks to its 50 or so minute running time, it's an album of repetitive loops and long, drawn-out dance grooves. Opening track "Cyclic" tells you all you need to know about it in its title, while "Pshychic A-Go-Go" uses basically the same dance beat and percussive guitar, but takes a more minimal approach, leaving the song with more of a Krautrock feel.
"S.O.I.D." is as sweet a melody as the band have ever written and there are hints of the old Buffalo Daughter in the eccentric electronic dots and loops of "Chihuahua Punk," but cyclical, groove-led dance rock is really the order of the day on Pshychic, with the 20-minute closing track "303 Live" bringing the album to a slow-burning but suitably hypnotic finale, with its dueling guitar and sequencer, and an impressive performance from Matsushita Atsushi on drums. Self-indulgent it may be, and it may be a painful shock for longtime fans of the band, but Pshychic succeeds in putting the ghost of shibuya-kei to rest as well as on its own progressive, space rock terms. ~ Ian Martin