My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes
In an abstract way, it makes total sense that the creative mind behind Psychic Babble is Circa Survive guitarist Colin Frangicetto. While his main squeeze gravitates toward oceanic metal riffs and skyscraping prog signifiers, they also aren’t afraid to wield restraint—and silence—for maximum sonic impact. In other words, Circa excel at creating music with dynamic variation—something Psychic Babble’s debut full-length, My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes, also has in spades.
Culled from songs Frangicetto has accumulated during the past half-decade, the album is a well-sequenced primer to languid psych-pop (the harmony-loaded “Crocodile Tears”), brittle shoegazer rock (the Ride-like “You Said It”) and electronic-touched dream-pop (“Boulevard”). British music trendsetters of the past twenty-five years are the biggest influence on My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes, however. The acoustic-guitar-and-harmonica-driven “Samantha” sounds like unplugged Jesus And Mary Chain, while “Radio Songs” conjures the softer side of noiseniks My Bloody Valentine and “Five Fold Kiss (Don’t Sleep)” should appeal to fans of obscure U.K. cult acts. (Google “Sarah Records” and “Trembling Blue Stars” and report back.) Shades of Australian rockers the Church even crop up in the rippling riffs, brisk tempo and sighing vocals of “Follow Your Bliss.”
Other modern bands specializing in similar textures and genres lean on emotional detachment, misplaced melancholy and cheap nostalgia. However, Psychic Babble don’t shy away from introspection and analysis. More important, My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes is warm, engaged and driven by subtle, but forceful, optimism. It’s a breath of fresh air.