Trouble In Mind quite possibly has a contender for one of the best debuts in 2014. I know this based on a limited edition six-song cassette tape, entitled Psychic Death Hole, I heard while hanging out in an apartment in San Francisco. It was slyly put on, knowing I would respond, and I took the bait like a sucker. When you think TIM, the varying degrees of psych rock come to mind, from graveyard bubblegum to the many faces of Ty Segall and his merry minions. What you don't think of is the RZA and Adrian Younge.
Los Angeles' Morgan Delt has a track called “Barbarian Kings” that sounds as though RZA or prodigy Adrian Younge unearthed samples from Morricone's desolate western frontier and warped them through rolls of tape. I keep expecting the shing-shing of sword fight samples to cut through the psychedelic meat. But these are not samples. Morgan Delt wrote “Barbarian Kings”, which has to make him some sort of third eye'ed yogi of guitars and tape hiss. Next year TIM is expanding Psychic Death Hole into a self-titled full length.
While “Barbarian Kings” brings to mind digging one's own grave in Joshua Tree, the full length's lead single “Beneath The Black And Purple” is hyperactive and since it follows “Barbarian Kings,” it's an adrenaline shot to the neck. When Delt moans “please let me out”, I find myself looking around the room wondering what it's going to take to free this poor man. The track comes to a crippling hault and shuffles into a darkened exit strategy that suggests the once desired freedom did not come with a happy ending. I don't know what a Psychic Death Hole is, but Morgan Delt seems to know and I applaud his courage for going there and returning with recorded information from the beyond.
Morgan Delt's self-titled debut is out January 28 on Trouble In Mind.