Monday 21 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Psycho shtick

Psycho shtick

It’s no joke: Psychostick gets silly when playing some serious metal riffs.

Joshua Boydston June 8th, 2011

Psychostick with Soul Crisis, Switchblade Rosie, God in the Machine and Severed by Sin
8 p.m. Friday
Bricktown Live, 103 Flaming Lips Alley
$12 advance, $15 door

Metal act Psychostick always has made it a priority to give each tour a theme by which to remember it. There was the “Terrible Shirt Tour,” then the “Pay Off the Van Tour” (it did, in fact). This go-round is no different: With the “Unleash the Dumb Tour,” crowds are encouraged to dress “as dumb as they can.”

By that standard, it’s been a smashing success.

“It adds so much to the show. This makes it an event, and it’s been totally working,” drummer Alex Dontre said. “There was some dude the other day dressed up as Quailman from ‘Doug.’ Then we had a mosh with Santa Claus, a gorilla and a guy in a banana suit.”

Seeing and being a part of something like that is the definition of success for the Arizona four-piece that describes its brand of thrash metal as “humorcore.” Unlike most metal bands, eliciting pain and anger ranks low on Psychostick’s priorities.

“We just want music to be fun. We see so many people taking music and life so seriously ... it’s supposed to be fun,” Dontre said. “Growing up with punk bands, watching them play, you could tell it was a good experience for the crowd and them. People can tell; kids are smart. They can tell when you are doing something real and genuinely enjoyable.”

That means shows are equal parts heavy-metal concert and stand-up comedy. The band members substitute their instruments for “Guitar Hero” controllers, rubber chickens are a mainstay, and one crowd favorite sees the group sing the alphabet over a metal riff.

Song titles like “You’ve Got Mail Enhancement” and “Orgasm = Love” only further cement the fact that the only thing the band is serious about is being anything but.

“We take being funny seriously, a lot like a comedian would. It’s a weird conundrum, but we do the exact same thing,” Dontre said. “We are all proficient at our instruments, and that comes across in our live show, but that’s not the focus. We want to make people laugh without being a joke ourselves.”

So far, the routine has panned out well. This is Psychostick’s 12th national tour in 11 years, playing alongside more serious acts like Three Days Grace and Smile Empty Soul, and its third studio album, “Space Vampires VS Zombie Dinosaurs in 3D,” streets later this summer.

There have been times — especially early on — that saw the group tempted to play a more serious style of metal, but so far it’s stayed steadfast in playing it silly.

“We heard from tons of people saying that said once we started writing serious lyrics, then we’d start to really go somewhere,” Dontre said. “Many many people, and we ignored them all, and I’m glad we did. Sometimes, it’s tough to get on bills because we aren’t singing about death all the time, but once we actually get in ... that usually convinces them.”

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