Psychic Hit – Solutio Review

Summer is generally the time my musical tastes lighten up. It’s just not in my genetic makeup to blast funeral doom while sweating through a heatwave and running through the sprinkler. Summer is for barbeques and the party music that accompanies such (now, finally) socially non-distanced activities. Here that party music is generally throwback stuff, and that’s where Psychic Hit comes in. Their debut album Solutio is firmly rooted in 70s hard rock and metal, and these days even the most jaded of patio guests can get behind that stuff as long as it’s good. So, can this California five-piece hit it on the head here and deliver a summer soiree-worthy release?

The first word that comes to mind as Solutio spins up is “harmless.” The riff that opens the album on “Livin’ On” can only be described as generic, like something we’ve heard a hundred times before. When Ariana Jade comes in with the vocals our ears do perk up, though; Jade sounds a lot like a young Ann Wilson (Heart). “Livin’ On” is a high-energy yet inconsequential opener, but there is promise. Jade’s voice along with some excellent guitar solos from Andrea Genevieve hint at Psychic Hit’s potential. Sadly, on this six-song mini-LP, that potential is not often reached. Closing tracks “The Hand of Fate” and California Burnin’” are the standouts, featuring the most unique riffs and rhythms of the album (more tape flange please, bands!), but the songs still tend to fall apart rather than take us to new heights. And it’s not just the generic nature of the riffs: Jade’s vocals are a big issue.

Jade is very enthusiastic and has a very appealing voice, but she is also very raw. She tends to get shouty and out of control pretty quickly, which turns the vocals from charismatic to annoying. I mention above that she reminds one of Ann Wilson, and that’s true: her voice is spectacular. Unfortunately, the lack of any semblance of self-control or, quite possibly, training means that there are a lot of cringy moments throughout Solutio. Looking past the too-zealous vocal mishaps, Psychic Hit remind one of Heart crossed with the boogie of old AC/DC (“Left for Dead” features a recycled take on the riff of “Let there be Rock”) and the guitar stylings and feel of early Judas Priest. They try to maintain energetic performances that likely go over well in a live setting.

It might sound like I’m ragging on Psychic Hit a bit too much, but that’s because I hear potential. Guitar tones are strong, the band has solid chemistry, and Andrea Genevieve’s lead breaks are top-notch. “The Hand of Fate” is so close to being a killer song, with a great intro (Jade trades in her overly exuberant vocals for a rather sweet turn on the violin) and super galloping rhythm, but the song is sunk by over-the-top singing and an odd guitar harmony. When Melanie Burkett gets the chance to shine on bass she makes the most of it. And although Justin Divver’s drumming suits the music well, he relies way too heavily on his cymbals and his snare drum is lost in the mix. 70s-style music needs a strong snare drum.

Solutio won’t set any backyard barbeques alight, but Psychic Hit show enough potential here to make me perk my ears up for future work. As it stands, the band sounds more like a decent bar band struggling to write original material than bona fide hit-makers. More originality in the riff department and technically stronger vocals could take this band up to the next level, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for future releases. As it stands, Solutio is taking a back seat to stronger fare.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192kbps mp3
Label: Seeing Red Records
Websites: |
Release Worldwide: July 9, 2021

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