Creative Adult - Psychic Mess (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Creative Adult

Psychic Mess (2014)

Run For Cover

Creative Adult has a different sound than most of the Run For Cover roster which helps them stand out a bit more. After Bulls In The Yard last year, you could tell they needed just a little push again to complement their attitude and retro-punk sound. Well, Psychic Mess offers just that.

There's a pretty sweet ring to the '80s punk, Bay Area sound they bring to the fore here and a large portion of the record comes off like a great mix of Fugazi meets Joy Division. The dissonant, raspy sound of "Control My Eyes" match up well with the cynical and political "Charismatic Leader" which neatly lay a foundation for a record built on rampaging drums and relentless, edgy guitars that perpetuate an aged, demo feel to the majority of tracks.

A strong series of influences emerges that point fingers to The Clash, Sex Pistols and especially, The Ramones, with trippy elements, shoegaze tempos and screechy-hardcore guitar work framing tracks like "Halfway" in a good light. The vocals are disengaging but not in a bad way as it's an album that's set to lure you into the instruments more than ever to slam-dance the shit outta the crowd. The distant vocals and a plethora of noisy, crashing cymbals keep a frenetic pace throughout the first half of Psychic Mess which tapers out to a slower second half. It feels more spaced out with "Psychic Message" and the distorted breather in "Deep End" helping attenuate the album's stance, while maintaining an incoherent yet sound ebb and flow.

"Haunt" as a closer plays off a single-beat cadence on the drums, which is driven by haunting (no pun intended) and multi-layered vocals. It careens into a fuzzy, grungy end to highlight how resonating the record feels. It definitely jolts memories back to a few decades ago but Creative Adult surely will stand out given that not many are attempting this kind of risky sound in modern times.