Los Psychosis are living their own rock and roll dream
Memphis, Tennessee-based Latinx group Los Psychosis creates psychobilly music.
It’s a genre that mixes elements of rockabilly and punk rock and is described as stronger and faster rockabilly.
Los Psychosis describe themselves as a group “heavily educated in the traditions of primordial rock and roll”, and a significant part of the Memphis rock and roll scene since 2011.
The psychobilly group – led by longtime member Javi Arcega, guitarist and singer, recently released their debut album, Rock and roll dreams. It can be purchased digitally or on vinyl for a slightly higher price.
The album opens with the powerful “Glittered Eyes”, a fast and rhythmic start with a sinuous lap steel guitar.
The song is followed by “Hoppin and Jumpin” and “Neptune 120”, two tracks featuring characteristic Arcega performances, ranging from unbalanced to affectionate and heartfelt.
Although Los Psychosis made moves and performed around Memphis for a decade, Rock and roll dreams is their first professional recording, and it features a multitude of musicians and producers to achieve its specific sound and careful production.
The recording composition for the album consisted of lead songwriter Javi Arcega on vocals and guitar; Chapis Arcega with backing vocals, lap steel guitar, drums, maracas and electric organ; Robert Cantu & Richard James both on electric guitar; Andrew Geraci and Corbin Linebarier both on an electric basis; Ra’id Kursheed on drums and Chris Hart on accordion.
WEVL radio host Lee Grant also funded additional studio time for the group to complete the project.
The album was co-produced by Crockett Hall and Toby Vest, and was recorded at American Studio and Sun Studio, both in Memphis.
At Rock and roll dreams, Los Psychosis mixes their psychobilly influence with a punk flavor that shines on tracks like “Astral Dreams” and “Paranoid Life”.
Arcega cites the late 1970s recordings of New York punk band The Cramps as a major basis for their psychobilly ventures. Memphis roots music and rockabilly “Sun Records style” are also important influences.
Horrorbilly (rockabilly with horror influence) may also have been channeled for “Dionysus Wave”.
This song brings out feelings of dread thanks to the mysterious lead guitar and the prominence of the organ, sounding as if a mischievous creature is tapping the keys, without being seen.
The band has influences across a broad spectrum outside of punk and rockabilly. In a way, Los Psychosis personalizes the psychobilly genre to their liking, adding unusual elements to their recordings like the accordion, electric organ and lap steel guitar.
The inclusion of these instrumental freedoms partly pays homage to Arcega’s legacy. Arcega revealed that the inclusion of these instruments was a decision made taking into account his Mexican origins.
The group defines themselves as a group of Latinx psychobilly, and they are also bilingual.
Many songs from the 10-track debut album feature Spanish lyrics such as “El Vacio” and “Mala Luna”.
The album title was also influenced by Arcega’s legacy.
âThe title relates to the fact that I am a first generation immigrant. Like most people, my family came to this country in search of a better life, and for me that means pursuing my dream of rock and roll, âsaid Arcega. Daily Memphian.
The group closes its debut with “El Ultimo Lago De China”.
The finishing track is a confident punk epic that once again showcases Arcega’s Spanish songwriting, this time framing his lyrics around the track “Last Lake in China”.
Precise percussions and a passionate vocal rehearsal close these hermetic beginnings.
The beginnings of Los Psychosis Rock and roll dreams can be downloaded digitally or purchased on vinyl. The album is released by Black and Wyatt Records.