Review: Singapore Sling – Psych Fuck
Icelandic fuzz-purveyors Singapore Sling return to the fray with another growling longplayer. Chloe Mayne gives it a spin:
I haven’t written an album review in bloody ages, but I couldn’t let this rumbling gem slip between my fingers. Sustaining myself on a heavy diet of rough-around-the-edges psychedelia from an early age, Singapore Sling have been up in the crows nest of my runged sonic ship for almost a decade, and they never disappoint. As ‘psych’ becomes an ever-sunnier pop denomination these guys just keep drilling it down into new neolithic dimensions, boom.
The record opens with the aptly titled ‘Dive In’, a shimmering invitation down a path that twists and shrouds in shadow as it descends. There’s something deliciously grimy at the centre of every Singapore Sling track, like a rusty bit of wire tied into a barbed knot, and it’s already beginning to coil itself nice and sharp and tight in this track. The piano shivers alongside with eerie persistence, becoming a tiny glowing thread that ties the whole record together in spooky luminescence.
‘Let It Roll, Let It Rise’ brings in the snarling maracas that we’ve come to know so well from these Icelandic cosmic enchanters. The opening curtain behind us falls and slinks away, leaving us to push forward-onward alone in this dark and fuzzy topography. One simple guitar lick, repeated to perpetual, is all it takes to leave your cheeks glistening in this warbled nugget from the treasure box.
The record’s key single ‘AEJL’ is a soar-and-tumble highlight. Piano keys tiptoe over the grit with pointed soles, while beneath them brash guitar falls away like clods of dirt. This is a strangely uplifting track despite its droning bitumen base; it swoops upward and breaks over itself in wonderful ebbs that grow and fall like lungs.
‘Try’ drops down into deliciously warped and screeching tunnels, a subterranean growl. We sink down to grinding, dark and dripping gloom at cavernous depth where the walls are rough and rocky, the vocals gravelly and wrought with iron, as though Tom Waits were pacing and snarling in a boxing ring. Then ‘The Underground’ washes in and sweeps the debris aside with clear-buzzing synthesiser and coaxing vocals, gifting you a moment to tear your head above the surface and squeeze in a few breaths before your head is plunged back into the abyss.
‘Dying Alive’ begins with deceptive gentility, then metamorphoses into rampant foot-stomping pandemonium. In a similar vein, ‘Glitter’ is cacophanic; there’s so much going on here that it makes your head spin, in the best, breathtaking way. Final track ‘The Tower of Foronicity’ is a seemingly calm and spritely finish, though the cheerful lyrics hide their own secrets; when you think you’re at the top, you’re really at the bottom… It’s the optimal point of disorientation to flip the record over and dive back into the spiral, my friends.
Psych Fuck is a stellar offering from Singapore Sling and it’s gosh darn wonderful to have them back. This is one to retreat into your burrow with and gnaw away at like a hallucinogenic doggy-bone. Fuzzy paradise, mmmmm.
Review by Chloe Mayne.