Psycho Magnet- London After Midnight

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 8.5/10

I introduced you guys to this artist before in a previous review. Well, now the time has come to look at LAM’s second album. Nothing much has changed between the two records: there are still dark themes involved, Gothic imagery to be found, and Sean Brennan’s sexy vocals to be heard. But just because nothing is drastically different doesn’t make this a bad record. The songs are still awesome and will leave you wanting more.

There are currently three different versions of this album: the original and two re-releases. They have pretty much the same tracklisting with one version having a bunch of live and bonus tracks. The one I’m looking at is the 2008 American re-release. This version of the album begins with the sexy track “The Bondage Song.” The original version of the song is only about a minute, but this unchained mix makes the song pretty danceable. The music begins in a gloomy manner with Sean sounding sinister as he sings “wrap your arms around my pale skin.” After a while the beat picks up and finds Brennan singing “On your knees who do you please, who do you feed til I find a better one.” It’s a dirty sounding song that may rev up your engine, but it’s one of the best here.

Another great song is “Kiss.” On this album there are two versions, with the only difference being one is shorter than the other. I prefer the longer version because the shorter one obviously cuts out a verse and the transition doesn’t feel natural. The song itself starts out like a creepy lullaby with the light tinkling of what sounds like a xylophone. There’s also this cool understated bass line that plays throughout the song that adds to it’s haunting feel. This is another another song that has a seductive tone to it, even though Brennan sings “take me, rape me.” Still, it’s an awesome song and one that made me fall in love with LAM.

The other tracks here are great as well. “Blessing” has this weird chanting as if the singer is trying to put us under a spell. It almost puts you in a trance as you’re listening to it. The title track has an Eastern feel to the music along with some great imagery here. One of my favorite lines has to be “Such a fool to be so blind/Serpents hide behind your eyes and I’m their prey tonight.” “A Letter to God” is like a vow of revenge against the Lord. It questions why humans suffer through life without witnessing the beauty of it and how God seems to be playing a cruel trick on us. It’s a thought provoking song that makes you wonder about blind faith and life in general.

Just as with the first album, the songs here deal with themes of love and death. A lot of the songs will reference slit wrists, dying, and love lost. There’s also some gruesome images to go along with these themes. On the dark track “Shatter” Brennan sings “I’d sooner slit my wrist than risk discovery of hell.” It’s a jarring line, but one that stands out from the song. Another track “Where Good Girls go to Die” seems to deal with nothing but love and death, as the title suggests. It sounds like a really gloomy love song and with the line “Where good girls go to die/that’s where I’ll be/waiting for my love with my heart on my sleeve” you have to figure his love met her fate with death. These themes make the overall tone on the album haunting and sometimes creepy.

The only song that’s hard to get used to is “Hate!” It’s not a bad song. It’s just that the format of it is kind of weird. It begins slow and has this odd echoing effect during the singing. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t distracting. During the chorus the music then speeds up, which makes it the fastest song on the entire record. After a while the song begins to grow on you, especially with it’s warning message of “All the love turned to hate.” The song may sound odd also because it doesn’t fit in with the others. The other songs are slow and have a lot of ominous music. This track on the other hand has a really fast part and lacks in the creepiness factor.

Overall, this album gets 8.5/10. It’s an awesome album full of dark songs dealing with love, death, and at times hate. The sound and the themes are similar to that found on the debut, but it doesn’t take away from this release. Every song is great even if some take some getting used to. This album shows off LAM’s talent and how they not only want to make good music, but they want to make music that makes you think. Please support this awesome band. Visit their site to find out more about them or buy their music. Their albums are also available on iTunes.

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