Psychedelic Horseshit are self proclaimed shit gazers. Before you start trying to think of your own jokes, and while I do my best do avoid any obvious scatological humour, allow me to set the record straight. Shitgaze is Psychedelic Horseshit’s own personal take on shoegaze. They create a vivid, entrancing form of lo-fi noise pop, and Lacedis their latest album.
At first, this album was a little tricky to penetrate, and to make much sense of. As with much of the current crop of noise-pop acts, the aim seems to be to hide the core of a track deep below as many confusing layers as possible, confusing the fuck out of squares who just don’t get it, man. But this album becomes morbidly engrossing the more you listen to it.
Laced opens up with ‘Puff,’ a metaphorical ticket office to make sure people haven’t wondered into listening to this album by mistake. It’s a precursor or what’s to come, with a minute of a half of a galloping beat, with twitchy bleeps incandescently weaving in and out at their own pleasure.
That galloping beat returns on the next track, ‘Time of Day’, where we get our first taste of lead singer Matt Whitehurst’s lyrics. With track names like Puff and Laced, it’s almost a given that he’d be sounding a little ‘cloudy’ himself. The lyrics are tough to figure out, both in terms of what he is saying, but also, what is he saying? Essentially, it doesn’t matter, it’s just another part of the fuzz of noise, and part of the bizarre world Psychedelic Horseshit inhabit. Matt can’t really sing either, but the joy in surrounding yourself in noise is that it can help you hide. A normal sense of structure is briefly tangible, with a casual sounding acoustic guitar just peeking out from underneath a looping set of slightly off-kilter, fluttering keys.
The title track ‘Laced’ follows the same pattern, although on this occasion we are treated to a fuzzed out ending as all the sounds melt into one. ‘Tropical Vision’ is where Matt Hamilton’s voice gets a little exposed. After 30 seconds of bird noises (or screams, it’s tough to tell), there’s just a vinyl-sounding crackle playing alongside his verses, as if to remind people of their lo-fi aesthetic. The chorus sounds wonderfully hazy and tropical however, like fuzzy steel drums re-imagined and shitgaze-ified.
As the album floats on, Whitehurst amusingly spends 7 and a half minutes explaining why he hates the beach, just after swooning about a tropical paradise in the previous track. The time is well spent though, as everything descends into an orgy of noise and sound, as you struggle to tell where different body parts of sounds come from.
The album ends with what feels like something of a concession; a much more accessible, harmonious, clearly structured slice of noise pop. ‘Making Out’ shows that Whitehurst and friends are capable of toning down the crazy, with a vocal that syncs with the other elements of the track. It’s fun, but it feels a little like cheating. After the insanity of what went before it, it’s like they are dropping you back off on your home planet, back to reality. However, as a sample from track 8, ‘Revolution Waters’ smirks, “What’s so wonderful about reality?”