Imagine the unbridled swagger of James Brown conducting the rampant electricity of The Hives with the heart and soul of The Clash and you’ve got a good start at understanding The Schizophonics. This trio was formed in 2009 in San Diego, and has been tearing up the road ever since. Their newest full length, People In The Sky, is the culmination of years of playing shows around the world and putting on a dangerously energetic live performance night after night. This band embodies the spirit of Rock N Roll and proves to be the dirtier, wilder offspring of classic bands like The Who and The Kinks, with all the riffs to back it up.
People In The Sky is the sound of a 1969 Chevelle screeching down a freeway with the windows down, music turned up to 11, and the gas pedal pressed to the floor. There’s something so classic to it, but with an untamed edge. Vocalist Pat Beers (what a name) fills out the album with hooting and hollering, exclamations of the soul. The guitars on this album sound like they’re straight out of your favorite vintage records, and the production on the record as a whole fits the sound and aesthetic of the band. If your leather jacket could listen to music, they’d crank up this album.
Song after song, People In The Sky belts fun and catchy tunes with animal-like intensity. They move fast, and by the end this album will leave you wanting more. They’re songs meant to be played live, and judging by photos on their website I’d say things get pretty crazy. It’s almost impossible to sit still while listening to it, and that’s part of the charm. It’s loud, dangerous, and bold. It’s pent up, raw energy with a take no prisoners attitude.
This band has a distinct and a somewhat nostalgic sound. While some will find it freeing and incredibly exciting, some may dub it derivative. With a genre as tried and true as Rock N Roll, there’s bound to be some residual odes to legends of the past. Whatever the connection may be, The Schizophonics are something their own and are breathing new life into a genre that has abandoned the top 40 charts it once owned.