Taking the easy path would have been a cinch for Jeffrey Nothing on his solo debut. He and producer Skinny have enjoyed over twenty years of success working together, and they could’ve just rehashed previous success over and again to fill this disc. Luckily for us there are some ballsy chances taken in this collection to keep things fresh.
Sure, we still get our fill of pounding drums and guitars shredding over minor chord keyboards, but The New Psychodalia will never be mistaken for a generic nu-metal album.
“Goodbye” blends Classic Cleveland rock with modern rock seamlessly, allowing Jeffrey to belt out a catchy refrain. “Sin ‘O Cism” is a quick, thrashy song, which questions both government and its people, and recalls Jeffrey’s time with the band Hatrix. Opening track “Dear Departed” offers several catchy vocal patterns and riffs that open the album with a roar.
I won’t claim to understand everything Jeffrey is trying to say, nor will I tell you I enjoy it all. “Enough” is a funky-rock track which reminded me of early Kid Rock though I felt Jeffrey was shooting to showcase influences from an earlier decade. “Devil” features lyrics seemingly based on a certain prank call every ‘shroomhead fan is familiar with over a simple dance beat and comes off as almost lighthearted. The song sticks out like a sore thumb in this collection.
After decades of hearing Jeffrey sing over Skinny’s songs I did wonder what it would be like to hear him branch out, but then comes “Wormwood”, a Pink Floyd and possibly Absinthe-induced track that is theatrical, creepy, and beautiful all at once. This review would’ve been done a week ago if I could’ve stopped pressing repeat on this tune.
“Mnemerator” is a song dominated by a playful piano-line and features spoken word vocals by Skinny. No offense, but dude, Jeffrey Hatrix is in the studio and this track is sort of wasted without him. “Darkseed” is perfect for a horror film, but it is filler here.
As the curtain closes I feel the album is solid, though I hope on the next go-round, Jeffrey and the rest of the band let go of the reins and let go of their self-editing. Take some bigger chances and don’t worry if us old codgers say negative things. Jeffrey’s vocals shine throughout this collection and showcase his still-growing talents.