PSYCHOPUNCH – Smakk Valley

Written by on 2013-02-24

Sitting in front of my computer, just a cigarette, a bottle of soda, a bowl of hot chocolate (cause coffee sucks), dirty, still sleepy, shitty weather outside, I’m all alone, dressed in rags with a dirty yet comfy pair of shorts. No wrestling to watch, so I’m stuck with nothing new to check. I should find a meaning to my life. Need a band to discover, to explore, something powerful with balls. Alright, let’s check the new releases and pray. PSYCHOPUNCH?

Never heard of them, but the name sounds cool, let’s go check them out.


Released on 25/02/2013 / SPV/Steamhammer

Links :

Tracklist :

01. Back Of My Car
02. So Jaded
03. Last Night
04. Kick In The Head
05. Sitting By The Railroad
06. My Empty Head
07. All I Wanna Say
08. I Will Never Ever
09. Dead By Dawn
10. Smakk Valley train
11. Emelie
12. Down On My Dreams
13. Everybody Wants An Answer

Line-up :

JM (Vocals, Guitars)
Joey (Guitars, backing vocals)
Lindell (Bass, backing vocals)
Jocke (Drums)

Joey, Johnny, Lemmy and the others.

Swedish quartet active since 1999, PSYCHOPUNCH already released 9 records and displays an impressive metronomic schedule. Since I never listened to any of their albums, before this tenth effort “Smakk Valley”, I expected basically nothing when I plugged my headphones in and I pressed play.

Well, apart from the fact that it’s late February, and I just found a challenger for the top 10 album of the year, I can barely describe what hit me. Ten years I’ve been waiting for athis kind of punk rock band. You know a band which played as if the Californian bands never existed. As if the RAMONES were still alive, as if the HELLACOPTERS never splitted and those two bands were having sex in an orgy of rock, punk and energy.

Every track is an electric discharge in the body, a high kick straight into boredom’s guts. The opening song “Back Of My Car” gives the colour. A dirty, powerful, extremely efficient song with a catchy chorus, perfectly served by the hoarse and nasal voice of JM, PSYCHOPUNCH’s singer. Everything goes perfectly well, as the tracks go by one after another, even the pretty calm “Sitting On the Railroad” is pure genius, a heady song that you cannot stop listening to, it’s the highlight of the record with “Last Night” and its trash fun lyrics: “Last Night, it really wasn’t me. I had too much to drink, baby can’t you see?”

PSYCHOPUNCH shows a tremendous talent in songwriting, giving the audience hit after hit after hit, like a metalhead drinks his beer. But its main strength lies in its drummer Jocke, hitting maniac, putting his entire soul in his hits, hurting his drums so well you can’t help but follow the rhythm. His association with bass player Lindell gives “Smakk Valley” a feeling of emergency, as if the whole thing was recorded in a crack house in the 80s. No note is out of place, nothing is missing there. Seriously, “Dead By Dawn”… Something as snarly, which gives you the envy to destroy everything around you, should be banned forever.

JM and Joey, are the perfect pupils of Johnny Ramone and give our cold ears some riffs that turn them on every single time you hear those in order to get us to move our asses in rhythm and in unison. Nothing else to say; because altogether: it’s just perfect. “Smakk Valley Train” and its introduction, the main riff from “Emelie”, “Back Of My Car”, the duet isn’t performing the most original stuff you’ve ever heard but it feels so honest and is played so well that you can’t help but love it and don’t give a shit after 5 minutes. The few solos are simple but never feel weird and gives the listener a few moments to breathe since a whole album spent jumiing everywhere is pretty exhausting.

Finally, JM’s singing, which never weakens and is more than recognizable, cherry on the already perfect cake we are listening to without complaining (we even ask for seconds, and love it all the same) is a subtle mix of agressivity and sexuality, a great breather in a time where all singers must sound the same. This voice is a call to freedom and life. “Everybody wants an answer” and all is said. Few singers gave me goosebumps like him especially in punk rock.

45 minutes later, and “You’re Totally Mistaken”, tribute to MOTORHEAD, and you realise how fast time went by, you’re screaming “I’m Alive !!!” together with the band. You must admit you were expecting nothing out of this day, and that you took a mjor slap in the face, that a band you knew nothing about an hour ago just rushed into your life. You realise you love PSYCHOPUNCH, and that “Smakk Valley” is a fucking amazing bomb of rock and roll that you cannot say anything bad about, except that it ends at some point.
Still a shitty weather, still alone, still dressed in rags, still nothing to do or to watch. But surprisingly I no longer mind at all. The record just ended and if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna listen to it one more time. Fuck yeah it’s a beautiful day. In the back of my car…

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