WITH a name as obvious as Psychic Babble, it was clear Circa Survive’s guitarist, Colin Frangicetto’s, solo project was going to be offering a different sound to his band’s progressive rock roots. Whist maintaining he’s still very much a member of the band, Frangicetto says he’s been working on this solo album in downtime from Circa Survive over the past five years. All this writing time will be put to the test on 16 August when ‘My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes’ is released.
A collection of ten tracks of indie rock tones are carried across the whole album. Opening song, ‘Five Fold Kiss (Don’t Sleep)’ looks like the prime choice for a lead single, though ‘Nothing Familiar’ would probably fare just as well. Lyrics are sung in a semi-spoken style and layered over a very electronic sound to create the final product. The layering works – as it did in Circa Survive’s highly acclaimed last album – and the digital sound suits the vocals.
In fact, when the electronics disappear at the end of ‘You Said It’ and Frangicetto’s vocals are left much more stripped back, the result comes as a surprise. It’s a brief moment where questions are raised as to what would’ve happened had Frangicetto pursued a totally different style of music. The same feeling of vocal appreciation can’t be found in ‘Let Me Change’, where the drowned-out vocals leave the listener in some sort of drowsy trance. It’s been so heavily mastered that the vocals (which finish nearly a minute before the song ends) are forgotten as the eyes and ears of listener’s begin to shut.
‘Follow Your Bliss’ redeems the hope that, when not over-worked, Frangicetto’s music can offer a lot more – so long as the obscure last minute of weird alien-like talk is overlooked. Quite simply, it’s a solid album which would greatly be improved were there a lot less babble.
There are plenty of (legal) free downloads of a few Psychic Babble tracks out there. A listen to one of those won’t do anyone any damage – they’re free after all – and if those keep going down well then it seems likely this album will prove popular with Circa Survive fans and those who’ve never heard of the band alike.
‘My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes’ is released on 16 August.
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