Number of Tracks:7 Vinyl Size:12-inch Revolutions:33rpm Vinyl Color:Clear
Even though Psychindustrial was brought to life by a band called Modern Stars, it feels anything but modern. That’s not to say it’s outdated or decrepit; rather, the record seems timeless. The Italian trio’s sonic approach is rooted in a focus on near-ritualistic repetitions, tracing such delicately grounded patterns by means of unique and easily distinguishable yet perfectly amalgamating performances.
Each song on the record is persistently underscored by the warm humming of a sitar, occasionally assuming the spotlight and frequently functioning as a vibrant canvas for other sonic components to contrast and complement. The incredible early album highlight ‘Artificial Wombs’ thrives off its hypnotising textures, weaving repetitions into a deeply engaging meltdown during the final minutes. The song feels warm yet detached, its empowering chants beautifully aided by the consistently intensifying drums. Modern Stars are at their very best when focusing on such cadences and subtle motifs; the epic ‘Indian Donna Summer’ showcasing Psychindustrial at its most ambitious. Carefully cruising through a singular, highly distinct rhythm, the song feels like a gently winding dream, augmented by its lingering guitar work. At no point does ‘Indian Donna Summer’ feel overlong or exhausting: its entrancing melodies are more than enough to sustain and justify its thirteen minutes.
While the bulk of Psychindustrial comprises such enchanting compositions, the record’s tracks occasionally indulge in more traditional songwriting. While these sections are not bad by any means, they do pale against the album’s best moments. Modern Stars’ vocalists adopt a rather distant approach, aided by similarly obscuring production and perfectly tailored to the more psychedelically repetitions, yet overly greyscale when focusing on effective choruses. Thankfully, the band appear aware of this: opener ‘Hypnopaedia’ starts off as fairly unremarkable indie rock, yet manages to combine its elements into a fascinatingly abstract entanglement during its second half. As such, the album leaves enough room for improvement while efficiently accentuating that which makes it wonderful throughout.
Psychindustrial’s two instrumental tracks - the “iNtErLuDeS” - wonderfully space out the record into a highly digestible affair that masterfully accomplishes intensity without acceleration. The elegant ‘War is Peace’ bleeds into the album’s closing track, a more explicitly psychedelic offering and, simultaneously, an excellent indication of where Modern Stars may go next. The band are onto something truly special, and Psychindustrial is a bright glimpse of what this may encompass.