“I’m Allright,” the second track on Roy And The Devil’s Motorcycle‘s new album, Tell It To The People, gets nuts with reverb and echo thrown on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. After a point, it’s just like being stuck inside a bad trip, wondering, “When is it all going to end? Please make it stop,” rather than marveling at the wonder of the music.
It makes the strange feedback on something like “Cristina” seem positively sedate by comparison. Tell It To The People just gets a little more complicated than I like my psych. Not complex — I’m down with polyrhythms and layered sounds. It’s just too much going on at any one point. Something like Spacemen 3’s 17-minute version of “Rollercoaster” builds and builds to get to the point of absolutely absurdity and confusion. Just because your song is a quarter the length of that doesn’t mean you have to shoot right to the peak.
Funnily enough, it’s when Roy And The Devil’s Motorcycle cover a song themselves — in this case, the traditional “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” — that they find a way to build and create atmosphere, rather than the rocket ride straight to the apex of their freakout. The group creates a mood, turning the old gospel number from a joyous celebration to a mournful dirge. It’s wonderfully eerie, and the high point of this new record from Voodoo Rhythm.