Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 60° Clear
A&E >  Music

Pandemic-born Spokane punk band Psychic Death releases second EP

July 11, 2022 Updated Thu., July 14, 2022 at 3:22 p.m.

By Julien A. Luebbers The Spokesman-Review

Psychic Death is a hardcore punk band that comes with no overinflated air of complexity, no pretensions, no nothing. The band comes at the listener with a hyper-driven, ceaselessly energetic wall of sound that plasters itself all over your senses as you listen.

In short, the band does the most with the least: its new EP, “Psychic Death 2,” clocks in at just eight minutes long.

The band’s first EP, “Psychic Death,” was a whole 50% longer, at 12 minutes. “It maybe didn’t need to be that long,” said guitarist Jon Montano.

“There was a few minutes of (bull),” said vocalist and drummer Audrey Keaty. The songs were “a little bit padded out.”

“Psychic Death 2” is, in Keaty’s words, “the first tape but without all the (bull).”

In eight minutes, the new EP blows through five tracks, as long as 125 seconds and as short as 62. The condensed form means that every song gets started fast, drives at peak volume and energy for its duration, and then ends like a collision with the half-second gap before the next song.

“Part of the ethos of the band is when we like a song, just finish it, just call it good,” Montano said, explaining the lightning-quick tracks.

“Any artist can get into self-doubt and think ‘this isn’t finished yet,’ ” Keaty added. “My approach was like, just be confident in what we have and don’t stress over it.”

Confidence is something the band has plenty of, backed by years of experience playing and writing for other groups. “I don’t really like have any self-doubt when it comes to writing music,” Montano said. “I don’t. And at the same time, I don’t personally write music for anybody else.”

“I was constantly yearning for more energy and more speed,” Keaty said. “It was kind of just what we both needed.”

The band came together during the pandemic, when both Keaty and Montano were new to the Spokane area. “We met online and we were both kind of trying to start a band,” said Keaty. “So we ended up hanging out.”

Keaty and Montano then sought out a bassist, landing ultimately on Ian Thurston who also recorded and mixed the two records.

In the final product, Keaty and Montano’s vocals and guitars blend and snap together, like the crests of two waves meeting and amplifying one another. Distinct though they are, they join for a coherent and rowdy sound.

For Psychic Death, the goal of making music isn’t some quantitative audience the whole world round. They do not post their music on major subscription-based streaming services, opting instead for YouTube uploads and a Bandcamp page, a platform that allows users to name their price and purchase digital downloads as well as merch.

“Making music takes a lot of time and effort. And like being in a band is just a money hole,” Montano explained. With their approach, “more people will find our music that want to support us, way more than would be” were they to use Spotify, for example.

The core of the band’s enjoyment, though, comes not from their high-octane records but from bringing those records to a live audience, for which Spokane has served them well.

“Playing live is great because of how awesome the scene is,” said Montano. “The scene really comes out for the shows.”

“The show isn’t just about playing music,” said Keaty. “It’s 50% the band playing music and 50% people who love music coming out to watch. You couldn’t have one without the other.” Psychic Death is sure to supply its part of the bargain.

“Playing the shows is the heart of it for me because that’s where all the good energy is,” Keaty said.

Unfortunately, a post-release tour had to be largely canceled due to complications with filling out the roster.

For now, though, their music is available on psychicdeath666.bandcamp.com. For updates on the band going forward, including show announcements, follow their Instagram @PsychicDeathWA.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.