[sic] Magazine

Plastic Crimewave Syndicate – Massacre Of The Celestials

Consider yourself a knowledgeable part of the contemporary hard-psych scene? You’ve not even made it through the door unless you’ve sat at least one of the Steven Krakow initiation rituals. Having risen from the acid-punk ashes of his revered Chicago-based Plastic Crimewave Sound, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate is today aided by Taralie Peterson’s squealing sax and Massacre Of The Celestials is the vehicle’s punishing fourth album.

Sonically just as varied as its predecessors and even inch just as freaky, Massacre Of The Celestials is nominally a concept album about “the rise and fall of humanity, and then the post-apocalyptic rebirth of a new furtherly-dystopian mutated world”, but that’s just meta data because your brain won’t have even half of the capacity to make synaptic connections to that narrative after enduring these 40 minutes of wild excess.

Crank this album loud at your peril; you will lose your mind. Resolutely not for the beginner, tracks like “Nest Of Vipers” drag a lumpen churn across a harsh landscape of protesting guitar and ear-filling no-wave scree. In turn, “The Vessel” is a gratuitous sax-psych odyssey that operates a squealing scorched-earth policy for anything unfortunate enough to get in its way. A truly damaging component to the PCS onslaught, that same sax charms a discordant series of skronking notes out of “Lot Lizard Genocide”, its messy mysticism, built equally of pop culture and theoretical physics, a total mindfuck.

Minutely less intense, eight-minute sax-droner “Cog In A Wheel” earlier meanders all of the place, harder grooves gravitating into its dense centre while the album’s other eight-minute monolith, “Pierce The Veil”, then delivers a doomed right of passage that gnaws away at the sanity with fuzzy motorik and sawing (rather than soaring) solos. Book-ended with wah-strangled struts and towering guitar scales, Krakow’s drawl also provides the commentary to a pair of cosmic biker brawlers for good measure. It’s not that Massacre Of The Celestials is simply breathless at this point, rather that it nonchalantly considers auto-asphyxiation to be just another part of the perverted ceremony.

Best track: “Bound To Seek”

~Massacre Of The Celestials is released June 21st 2019 via Cardinal Fuzz.~