Hide and Psych

Hide and Psych

It’s great that we live in an age where indie labels are running supreme. The majors will always be there, ready to entice the unsuspecting but to the core of it, underground music and the DIY aesthetic seems to be a fiercer proposition more than ever at the moment. Blak Hand Records are a cassette based label from Liverpool who have seemed to have gone from strength to strength over the years with a strong roster of garage rock and psych bands, releasing a plethora of well-crafted and presented tapes.

The excellently titled Hide and Psych is a compilation they have put together to celebrate this years Cassette Store Day and features artists from their roster as well as few other friends putting together a bunch of covers of songs that have inspired them to be who they are.

Now, what is so interesting and rather exciting about this compilation is how varied the covers are, so do not go into this thinking you’re gonna get a bunch of psych/garage hits revisited, although that is there too, you also get some pretty other delectable gems.

Beach Skulls and The Electric Lazarus take the first two tracks and almost lul you into a fake sense of security with two well performed garage/desert rock cuts, the former is a groovy instrumental that sounds like it was recorded in a sweaty little bar out in the deep south as the crowd hoop and holla throughout the track.

Then comes the Amy Winehouse cover, as Chupa Cabra take a very laid back yet convincing take on ‘You Know I’m No Good’, while Calvadore‘s rendition of ‘Ballroom Blitz’ is just as fun and hip-shaking as The Sweet’s original.

It does get a little weirder as the compilation progresses with The Cheap Thrills giving 50 Cent’s ‘Hate It Or Love It’ a whirl which is an overall a good effort, but the vocalist does sound a bit out of breath trying to take on Fiddy’s verses. You also have a super fun version of Sheryl Crow’s ‘If It Makes You Happy’ from Turf which just sounds like they got pissed and just belted it out, but it’s a proper “end of the night, but have the time of your life” sort of moment!

For me though its all about Katie Pham and the Moonbathers with their gorgeous, shoegaze soaked cover of Catatona’s ‘Mulder and Scully’ which is as dreamy as it is seductive. This is what is great about Hide And Psych, for the most part it’s really fun and it’s great to see bands out of their comfort zones doing something different from the norm and in other places you get some pretty perfect results. At times, you can see how some of the more popular pop covers may have influenced these bands and it’s cool to be let into their musical heads for a bit. All in all this is well thought out and well put together compilation from a fine DIY label who, with the ideas and A&R skills they’ve shown so far, are surely on their way to bigger and better things.

Hide and Psych is out today, 8 October 2016

You can order the cassette here

Blak Hand Records  Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.