Boomkat Product Review:
'Psychic 9-5 Club' is the nigh-on flawless 3rd album from HTRK - quite easily their most ambitious and rewarding outing yet.
In contrast with the affective weight and morbid pallor of their 'Work (Work, Work)' LP - which was constructed as a duo after band-member Sean Stewart tragically died halfway through recording, this new suite finds space for a sliver of reflective light epitomised by the pathos of Jonnine Standish's vocals and Nigel Yang's deft, spaciously dub-wise production.
There's still that sense of grief and dysphoria, but it feels like they've come, or are coming to terms with it in a manner only HTRK could carry off with such impeccable grace. There are obvious comparisons to be made with The XX at their most withdrawn, but the whole thing is weighed down by a perfect, dim-lit amalgamation of pulsing drum machines, off-key synths and distilled vocals - it sounds like an expensive, painstaking production, in the best possible sense.
From the levitating dub of opener 'Give It Up' to the shimmering electronics of 'The Body You Deserve', we're in the presence of transcendent brilliance throughout 'Psychic 9-5 Club'; flitting from the beautifully bombed-out 'Blue Sunshine' to slinky, sensuous slow-jam 'Feels Like Love' which honestly lives up to its title, thru the hypnagogic sweetness of 'Soul Sleep' and the writhing pulses of 'Wet Dream', to the desolate peak of 'Love Is Distraction' and the lush ache of 'Chinatown Style'.
Having spent the last few years on the peripheries, HTRK have made an album that deserves a much bigger audience without compromising any of the elements that made their music so compelling in the first place. High praise indeed for one of the finest new records we've heard this year.