Psychic TV – Hell Is Invisible / Heaven is Her/E

Psychic TV – Hell Is Invisible / Heaven is Her/E / 2007 Sweet Nothing / 10 Tracks / /

In regards to actual full-length albums, and not singles (2002’s Snowflake/Illusive) and live albums (2003’s Live…series, 2006’s Live in Russia), it’s been a few years since Psychic TV has released anything. Genesis P-Orridge’s band’s last foray into studio albums were the triplet of albums that were Breathe, Cold Blue Torch, and Trip Reset, all coming out in 1996. Since Psychic TV holds the Guinness World Record for most albums released in a year (surprisingly, this set of albums did not win it), one can feel okay in giving them a little slack.

There has been a little bit of a change in the style of Psychic TV. Where it was common in earlier years for band members to play a few shows (sometimes only one) and then disappear, the set of musicians that created “Hell Is Invisible” have been working together for two years. This means that tracks like the almost ten minute “I Don’t Think So” feel much more confident throughout the entirety, rather than consisting of one bold individual forging through and the rest of the band members following eir lead. Stars are aplenty on this album, as Gibby from the Butthole Surfer throws some vocals on “Maximum Swing” and the aforementioned “I Don’t Think So”, while somewhat-famous author Douglass Rushkoff (who is a PTV alumna/ae) plays keyboards during “Lies And Then”. “Higher and Higher” has its’ own funky sound, with P-Orridge’s vocals acting in much the same way as one would hear during an early B-52s album. The echoing and dark feel of “In Thee Body” continues in some sense during the more uptempo “Lies, And Then”. However, the more energetic guitar lines and vocals puts the track in the domain of individuals like current Iggy Pop.

In much the same way, the shifting of styles that occurs during “Maximum Swing” sounds as if Rob Zombie recorded all of eir music in 1985 instead of 2005. The myriad of styles and approaches present on “Hell Is Invisible”, coupled with the tremendous amount of music present, will make a great value of the disc. Fans of PTV will undoubtedly find something that they can sink their teeth into, while the recordings here are approachable enough that newbies can pick the disc up without much in the way of problems. Give the disc a go if you like your music to be challenging, moody, and with flashes of brilliance scattered through the disc’s entirety.

Top Tracks: Just Because, Maximum Swing

Rating: 6.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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