In this day and age, the lines that constitute what frames the particular format of a record and how we consume it are severely blurred. With this is mind, approaching Psychedelic Horseshit’s Too Many Hits (a double 7-inch of 11 songs) might be confusing. Is it a single (since it is the grand finale of CDR’s Singles Club Year One)? Or, at two records, is it an EP? Better yet, judging from the quality of the material within, the sonic upgrades, and where it lands in the Psychedelic Horseshit timeline, this is one 8-minute dub jam shy of being the band’s proper follow-up to Magic Flowers Droned. Anyone who witnessed them at this year’s South By Southwest would know Matt Horseshit put the full band behind him through a gauntlet, and as a result, it was likely the greatest stretch of shows Horseshit has ever played. As well as the fact that the band continuously subscribed to Mr. Horseshit’s increasingly confrontational and whimsically cracked vision, much of that had to do with these songs. “Endless Fascination” and “Green Crystal Cigs” became standard in those sets, albeit with ever-shifting arrangements, lyrics, and titles. In the months that followed that “group” more or less dissolved and the Horseshit aura became puffed with myth and controversy, not records. (Though we love the Shitgaze Anthems, it was, after all, B-sides.) Maybe a tad late, Too Many Hits is the defining document of that hot streak burned in the ides of that March weekend.
As always in the realm of Psychedelic Horseshit, the disclaimers about noise pollution will be readily available and necessary here. Even if there’s a step upward in fidelity, the kitchen-sink aesthetic is firmly intact. The real ascension is in Matt Horseshit’s patented sonic idiosyncrasy. He’s come into his own as a producer and large professor/mad scientist of his own designs. Whether you’re onboard with his stoner maelstrom or not, there’s no denying the increase in texture found right away in “Endless Fascination.” At first seemingly a bogged sound, the warmer, fuller atmospherics temper what’s usually a trebly flaying. Singing that he “can’t even take a step outside without the gravity” bringing him down, there’s a more complete sentiment burrowed underneath all the (now appropriately labeled) shitgazing. Horseshit is still constantly shifting in and out of the funhouse, reveling in the surprises and spooks, the distorted realities, paranoid euphemisms, and psych-fueled illusions. For chrissakes, there’s a cover of Blind Melon’s “Hello/Goodbye” beginning the second side—the mark of a Soup apologist.
Besides in-jokes and cough-coated chuckles, there’s a mission on Too Many Hits, one manifested in the Zen-like precision of the blown-out punk skree smothering “Green Crystal Cigs,” the acoustic Ramones skitter in “Blurry Times,” and the stretch towards genuine sunshine pop on “Out of Control No. 36.” While it all is frequently ambushed by air-raid sirens, full-frontal organ wheeze or the opening of a beer can, it’s easy to hear Horseshit changing his tune, “maturing” into a sort of Malkmus-birthed mutant drowning in his own muddy slacker melodies.
Fittingly “Future Possibilities Reclaimed” ends the stellar first year of the CDR Singles Club and this superior Psychedelic Horseshit chapter, as well as ending some doubt that future recordings by the band will be a multi-personality guessing game. It’s like the rambunctious denouement of an imagined Shitgaze Basement Tapes, complete with Times New Viking’s Jared Phillips blasting away on a searing lead while Horseshit basks in the fluorescent glow like a blotto chameleon upon the saloon’s piano stool. They shall overcome, whatever and ever, amen. Given this record’s first press is accounted for, every one of them personalized and soon to be shipped away, this is too precious and essential to not be reissued with swiftness.
Kevin J. Elliott