Music

The Prefab Messiahs - "Psychsploitation" (video) (premiere)

Photo: Plastic Mynd

Put down your phone, turn on your mind, relax and float down the river of time with veteran underground band.

Some music simply casts us backward to a past that, real or imagined, seems more intense, more romantic than our own. A quick listen to the Prefab Messiahs, and one might think they're hearing some twentysomethings who were weaned on Rock Band, then graduated to guitars and micro-dosing in the final hours of the Obama presidency.


The truth is more tangled a conspiracy theory involving the CIA, the Grateful Dead, and a law and order senator from Montana.

This outfit crawled from the basements and alleyways of Wormtown (Worcester, Mass. to the uninitiated) in 1981, died in 1983 and has been resurrected all these decades on to deliver a new and impressive gospel to a generation with its eyes open and tongues extended, excited about receiving a holy communion in which traces of the lysergic and psychedelic abound.

If you were into trading tapes on a wink and a nod, you might have stumbled upon the Flex Your Mind cassette, issued the year The A-Team first beamed its majesty into the hearts and living rooms of America. Otherwise, your only hope of hearing the lads would have come via short-run CD-R titled Devolver, an anthology that poked its head into the light in 1998.

If that didn't set the world or the local Burger King grill aflame, a reissue of that collection and a brand-new 2015 EP titled Your Stupid Dreams Alive fanned the flames. The Prefab Messiahs had been prescient: Listening to those early songs you could imagine the arrival of the Oh Sees, King Tuff, Ty Segall, the whole lot.

Now, the quartet (Xerox Feinberg, Trip Thompson, Doc Michaud and Mattyboy Horn) has taken a deep dive and prepared a new full-length to blow hearts and minds into little pieces come January 2018. Titled Psychsploitation Today the album promises to upend our notions about the old/new binary and, indeed, the word binary itself.

As one might gather from this new video and track, “Psychsploitation", these dudes have not traveled all this distance merely to know the place for the first time. They've come to own it.

Chieftain/elder/Chief Pontificator Xerox Feinberg held court on the matter of the new aural/visual release recently, uttering in his utterly inimitable fashion, "The term 'psychsploitation ' usually refers to blatant and clumsy commercial attempts to co-opt the authentic groovy vibes of the psychedelic '60s. We're giving it a 21st-century twist. Today giant high-tech forces are working overtime to manipulate and exploit us constantly. It's a mass mental assault we all accept as normal every time we look at our phones," he offered. “Our song is about this modern 'psychological exploitation'. But like all warped message songs, it's also cleverly disguised as a classic gripe about a controlling, messed up personal relationship. Either way, you take it is fine with us!"

The Prefab Messiahs' Psychsploitation Today will be available on limited edition vinyl, CD, cassette, digital and streaming formats 26 January 2018 via Lolipop/Burger Records.

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