SOUNDS LIKE: A broken kaleidoscope designed to give flower children bad trips.
Normally, when you ask a band, "How did you get together?" the answer is going to be pretty straightforward. But nothing about the psych-rock quintet Psychomagic is straightforward.
Bass player Scott Page says he stumbled across keyboardist Eddie Bond on an amateur webcam site. Bond says he met the band "in a basement" and "fell in love with Scott's eyes." Guitarist Stone Tang is the most forthcoming: "I was pissed off at my bandmates, and they were pissed of at some of theirs, and I said, as a joke: 'Fuck this. This sucks. I should play guitar for you guys.' And then a month later I was in the band."
In truth, Psychomagic began when singer-guitarist Steven Fusco and drummer Anthony Brisson started writing songs together in 2013. However journalistically inhibiting the group's sense of humor may be, that lighthearted humor is integral to the band. Fusco's performance history, in fact, includes a public-access cable TV comedy show, and his first songs were written specifically for kids.
"I think it was more of a defense mechanism, too," Fusco says, "because no one can tell you, like, your children's songs suck, you know what I mean? Because then they're a dickhead."
Though Fusco is now comfortable enough to write songs for adults, Psychomagic has held onto its sense of absurdity. With nostalgic '60s keyboards, surf-flecked guitars and Fusco's shape-shifting voice, the band's new album, Bad Ideas, showcases a parade of slightly disturbed characters: a lovesick Transylvanian on the "Monster Mash"-style title track; a spaced-out cult member on "Flowers on the Sun"; a brutally honest rock-'n'-roller on "Your Lover."
Comedic deflection is still clearly part of what makes Psychomagic tick. But Fusco says they're not worried about the self-conscious silliness coming off as insincere.
Portland's Best New Band Poll Winners
SEE IT: Willamette Weekâs Best New Band Showcase, featuring Divers, The Domestics and MÃ¡scaras, is Friday, May 15, at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 9 pm. Free. 21 and up.