Over the last few albums from New York’s Psychic Ills, structured songs have started to crystallize out of the purple fog. The long-form drones have sprouted recognizable patterns, psychedelic sunbathed musings rolling out from their amps. One Track Mind, the group’s fourth LP, continues that trend, receiving some studio streamlining from Royal Trux’s Neil Hagerty. The psychedelic precision begins to look in onto itself, repeating ad nauseam, until individual moments blur into each other.
“I see your face in the mirror of my mind,” Warren Tres blithely relates on opener “One More Time”, putting the infinite looping immediately in mind. While they’re definitely writing songs now (as opposed to the trippy jamming that characterized older albums), they stick to tried and true long-form rumbles. These are songs designed to hit a psych sweet spot, pushing your brain out further into the ether with each chord iteration.
Bassist Elizabeth Hart’s scraped-knee gouging on “See You There” and the addition of buzzing high-end harmonica on “City Sun” break the album’s reclined haze. But the fog rolls back easily throughout, with tracks like the instrumental “Western Metaphor” barely able to peek through. “FBI” attempts to amp up the mystery with some black-helicopter lyrical business, but the rhythm section is doing the heavy lifting.
One Track Mind relies heavily on a chilled attitude, an afternoon spent leaning back on the sofa in a smoky apartment. The single “Might Take A While” is the kind of track designed to lazily sing as you pass the cigarette to your neighbor, bobbing your head along to the waves of guitar. Psychic Ills continue to produce music that succeeds by repetition, a trick that can’t hold up for everyone or in every situation.
Essential Tracks: “See You There”, “Might Take A While”