Psykobilly i hate psykobilly vol. 1 [Album Review]
Psykobilly i hate psykobilly vol. 1 [Album Review]

The dynamic UK-based trio Psykobilly, embrace a variety of genres and steep them in a darkly gothic ambiance.

Psykobilly has stated that they “don’t like to be pigeonholed into one genre”, to which I say it would be almost impossible to do so. From electro to punk-rock and post-punk pop, Psykobilly aims to keep listeners on their toes, not being able to predict the band’s next move.

The extent of their impressively dynamic instrumental range can be seen in the album’s first song “Lose Your Self”, a gothic symphony of electro-style production and a melancholic vocal performance that reflects the nihilism of punk rock.

Just when the listener feels like they’ve sussed out the song, it then violently swerves into a more metal-inspired production that purposely knocks the listener’s ears and comfortability for six.

The album isn’t all hardcore though despite what the opener suggests, for the most part, it has a production and songwriting style more akin to New Wave or alternative pop, creating a surreal, slightly emo atmosphere similar to that of The Smiths’ third album “The Queen Is Dead”.


“Someone” is a good example of this strange yet unique style that feels distinctly 80’s inspired. The blaring synths and crooning female vocals feel like eery synth pop for psychiatric patients, following the album’s horror/gothic aesthetic.

“Emotional Athlete” gives off a similar feeling, however in the form of a hyper-hypnotic mantra, like being trapped under the spell of a toxic lover. The vocals feel like something straight out of a Depeche Mode song, drowned in an echoey robotic filter that makes the song feel simultaneously futuristic and familiar.

However, experimental creativity does come with the risk of missing the mark and Psykobilly does end up doing that on a few songs.

“F.U.N” is an awkward and poorly timed follow-up to “Lose Your Self”, with an out-and-out pop approach and softer soundscape, the transition is quite jarring and left me personally confused at its placement.

“What’s Going Down” is another song that I feel interrupts the momentum of the album and feels too out of place with the album’s soundscape and theme. The lyrics feel a little too simplistic and stereotypically pop-friendly to make any real performative impact.

Once Again, it’s a song that I feel will leave the listener scratching their heads and not in the best way.

I understand that the band’s idea might have been to use these songs as a gateway to transition into the album’s poppier side after the strong showcase of rock on “Lose Your Self”, however, it fails to feel smooth or well-paced.

 After these two songs, however, the album does get back on track and stays on a steady consistent thematic path until the ending track “Theme for Lost Doll…”, a purely instrumental track that serves as a dark horrorcore ambience that leaves the project on a note of sinister eeriness.

Score/Good: Although it is sometimes to their own detriment, Psykobilly takes creative risks on their album and continues to follow their ethos of not sticking to any one genre. Whilst some songs are hit or miss, others have truly impressive production and inventive genre-bending that does pay off.

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[We rank albums on a scale of: Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, Outstanding].

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