We Are Just As Welcome As The Holy Water In Satan's Drink


White Jazz Records, 1999


REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


Innuendo. It can be a dangerous thing if not applied properly. Otherwise, it can create a smirk that can stretch for miles. Considering that Vasteras, Sweden's Psychopunch were brazen enough to tag their debut album with a title of questionable length - We are Just as Welcome as the Holy Water in Satan's Drink, one might subsequently discount the message delivered as just another rock band getting caught up in image over musicianship.

In the mid-to-late 90's, it's been apparent that multitudes of Scandinavian bands have been able to cultivate the same power chord tree found "down under" that AC/DC discovered decades earlier. Psychopunch are no exception. Credit should be given for the fact that they attempt to amuse with their album title given the circumstances of such a crowded stable.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The only thing that keeps me from actually believing that Psychopunch are nothing more than an AC/DC clone (hey, the first track on the album is titled "Down in Flames"!), is the Motorhead-like quickness that they blitzkrieg their way through the first few songs on this release. Truthfully, "Down in Flames" pays more than sufficient homage to the AC/DC, "Highway to Hell" era. The sing-a-long choruses from the lead vocalist that goes by the name of JM, are backed with an inspiringly quick tempo'ed beat. It's dirty, it's catchy, and it's anthemic. Hell, I'll just say it. It's fun!

By this point, it's conceivable that you're hoarse in the throat and surely ready for more. The following tracks, "Straightjacket Hell", and "Goin' Crazy" keep pace with "Down in Flames" and are equally as captivating. The vocals are raw but the band stays in check and remains reigned in just enough to not allow the songs to come off as sloppy.

"Good for Nothing at All" provides the segue point of the album from the frenetic to mid tempo which is where the next couple of songs head. At this point I'm not so sure Satan should be worried in what manner his drink is being spiked. Vocalists that come across as having more than a pack a day habit shouldn't be tasked with the duty of attempting to sing ballads. "Stranded (for Holly Ramone)" is a song that probably necessitates sap, but I have not the inclination to determine what the band's inspiration with Ms. Ramone might be.

The pace of the album picks up again but the electric charge of the first three tracks has been channeled elsewhere. Do I call the remaining songs filler? Well, that might be too aggressive of a claim but they come off as little more than memorable when compared to the first few songs described above.

For a debut album, We are Just as Welcome as the Holy Water in Satan's Drink shows plenty of promise early on but lacks the consistency from top to bottom to make one want to hear anything but the first four songs. It's a promising start but if you're listening, Satan, you have little to fear. A little shucking and jiving through this release and you should be in the clear.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of White Jazz Records, and is used for informational purposes only.