Psychedelic Speed Freaks album cover
Psychedelic Speed Freaks

High Rise

1984
P.S.F. Records

Plenty of ink has been spilled about the face-flattening power of these early High Rise albums, so it’s worth thinking about how remarkable and out-of-nowhere they must have felt at the time, for the few who actually got to hear them back then. It’s still startling to consider how perfectly High Rise distilled the thug-punk ethos of the Stooges and SRC, amped that up further with increased velocity and overloaded non-production, and then mainlined the mammoth heaviness of Blue Cheer through some of the most delirious wah-fuzz soloing to worm its way into your skull. Psychedelic Speed Freaks has the honour of being not just the first High Rise album, but the first release on the legendary Japanese label P.S.F., which makes it doubly potent, but even those kinds of historicising moves don’t matter much once Munehiro Narita’s bee-sting guitar stabs you in the forehead. After all, he’s just getting you ready to be steamrolled by Asahito Nanjo’s bowel-rupturing bass. Sure, the album is murky and distorted as hell; would you have it any other way? The revolution starts, again, here.

Jon Dale

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