Review - Psychopharmacology

Artist: Firewater

On "Psychopharmacology," the third foray from NYC indie analysts Firewater, we find founder and former Cop Shoot Cop bassist/cynic Tod Ashley once again focused on the strange and sordid. Poking fun at everyone from auto-insurance scammers ("Sipping on an oxygen cocktail with an ambulance chaser") to Bible thumpers ("God is great and God is good, but he's also made of wood"), Ashley's snarling, sing-along lyrics and terse pop arrangements make some of the album's dark subject matters seem practically uplifting, even danceable.

Though bathed in Jetset's trademark '60s go-go pastiche, remnants of Cop's tight, rhythm-heavy approach can be found throughout the album. Standouts include "Bad, Bad World," a PJ Harvey/Nick Cave-esque duet between Ashley and Elysian Fields' singer Jennifer Charles, and the ramshackle Dr. Maxwell's-Silver-Hammer-driven title track.

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