More often than not an independent CD – in the truest sense of the term – is the equivalent to what the demo tape was 15 years ago. Songs are recorded
and often crudely produced and mixed in hopes that it will catch the ear of
someone who can help finance or further an act’s ambitions. The inferior
product is
usually also sold to friends to recoup the money spent recording it.
"On a Wing," Psydecar’s indie, is superior in production and song quality,
to most of the stuff being released on recognized labels lately. The
southern California band mixes reggae, Latin and funk influences into a
cohesive, exciting and highly danceable sound. Tim Pacheco (lead vox,
trumpet and percussion), Scott Homan (guitar) and Ed Fletcher (drums)
defected from the Wise Monkey Orchestra a few years ago to form the band.
Here is a group where the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its
parts. No one instrument or voice dominates the sound – although drummers
and Chad Farran are 100 % rock-steady as they split duty – but take any of
away and you’ve got less of an outfit. Psydecar’s enthusiasm makes each of
the disc’s 15 tracks worthwhile. Pacheco sounds a lot like late Sublime
singer Bradley Nowell. But the similarity is an asset rather than a
detriment as Sublime was the last band to take reggae
rhythms into great new directions. Likewise, Psydecar uses reggae as the
base of
it’s music but adds elements of soul, worldbeat, and funk into a sound that
as musically literate as it is party fodder.
The horn section of Pacheco, John Connelly (sax) and Farran (flute) never
presents overly challenging runs but fits comfortable into the grooves. The
straight-ahead reggae of Itchy McGuirken is a fine example of their
Whether dabbling New Orleans funk-jazz on the exceptional Can’t You
pop-rock on Like Water or 1970s soul on the title track, Psydecar
turns out an
absolute winner – and a heck of a summer party soundtrack – with "On A