Los Psychosis is living their own rock and roll dream
Memphis, Tennessee-based Latinx band Los Psychosis make psychobilly music.
It is a genre that mixes elements of rockabilly and punk rock and is described as louder and faster rockabilly.
Los Psychosis describes themselves as a band “strongly schooled in the traditions of primordial rock and roll”, and a major part of the Memphis rock and roll scene since 2011.
The band psychobilly – fronted by longtime member, guitarist and lead vocalist, Javi Arcega – recently released their debut album, Rock’n’roll dreams. It can be purchased digitally or on vinyl for a slightly higher price.
The album opens with the mighty “Glittered Eyes,” a fast, rhythmic opener with sinuous lap steel guitar.
The song is followed by “Hoppin and Jumpin” and “Neptune 120”, two tracks featuring signature Arcega performances ranging from off-balance to loving and heartfelt.
Although Los Psychosis has been making moves and playing around Memphis for a decade, Rock’n’roll dreams is their first professional recording, and it features a host of musicians and producers to achieve its specific sound and polished production.
The album’s recording lineup was lead songwriter Javi Arcega on vocals and guitar; Chapis Arcega on backing vocals, lap steel guitar, drums, maracas and electric organ; Robert Cantu and Richard James on electric guitar; Andrew Geraci and Corbin Linebarier both on electric basis; Ra’id Kursheed on drums and Chris Hart on accordion.
WEVL radio host Lee Grant also funded additional studio time for the band 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 of Memphis.
At Rock’n’roll dreamsLos Psychosis mixes their psychobilly influence with a punk flavor that shines on tracks such as “Astral Dreams” and “Paranoid Life”.
Arcega cites the late ’70s recordings of New York punk band The Cramps as a major basis for their psychobilly ventures. Roots music and rockabilly “à la Sun Records” from Memphis are also important influences.
Horrorbilly (rockabilly with a horror influence) may also have been channeled for “Dionysus Wave”.
This song brings out feelings of light fright thanks to the mysterious lead guitar and the prominence of the organ, sounding as if a mischievous creature is tapping on the keys, invisible.
The band has influences across a broad spectrum outside of punk and rockabilly. In a way, Los Psychosis tailors the psychobilly genre to their liking, adding uncommon elements to their recordings like accordion, electric organ and lap steel guitar.
The inclusion of these instrumental freedoms partly pays homage to Arcega’s heritage. Arcega revealed that the inclusion of these instruments was a decision taken considering its Mexican origins.
The group defines itself as a psychobilly Latinx group, and they are also bilingual.
Many songs from the first 10 tracks feature Spanish lyrics, such as in “El Vacio” and “Mala Luna”.
The album title was also influenced by Arcega’s heritage.
“The title tells me I’m a first generation immigrant. Like most people, my family came to this country looking for a better life, and for me that means chasing my rock and roll dream,” Arcega said. Daily Memphian.
The group closes its debut with “El Ultimo Lago De China”.
The final track is a confident punk epic that once again features Arcega’s Spanish songwriting, this time framing its lyrics around “China’s last lake”.
A precise battery and a passionate vocal repetition close this hermetic first album.
The beginnings of Los Psychosis Rock’n’roll dreams can be downloaded digitally or purchased on vinyl. The album was released via Black and Wyatt Records.