Michael Psycho s/t
Michael Psycho s/t LP (Black Hole, 1990)
From Bobby Brown to Donnie Jupiter, Sacramento breeds its fair share of individualist musicians. Of our many outcasts, only one has made a loner punk classic and that person is Michael Psycho. My first encounter with Mister Psycho was seeing him front an early 80s punk band called Industrial Hate. Good, speedy punk rock, IH reflected the misfit nature of the band. After IH broke up, Michael formed a two-piece called Inducore. It was on an Inducore tape that I heard early versions of the songs that turned up on this record.
Recorded in the late 80s and released in 1990, Michael Psycho's debut is full of frustration, hate, bitterness, disappointment, and, underneath all that, a sincere longing for something better - all hallmarks of great loner punk. If I remember right, all the instruments here are played by Michael; the album recorded in his apartment. The playing is a bit clunky but that is to Psycho's credit. As good as his songs are, slicked up, the songs wouldn't have the impact that they do here. Another plus is Psycho's vocals, which sound remotely like No Alternative's Johnny Genocide.
Five hundred of the record were made. One hundred circulated around Sacramento, a few escaped through mail order and very small distributors. A little less than four hundred were stored with Psycho's landlord with the understanding that they would be kept safe while Michael was away. Landlords being landlords, the near four hundred wound up in a landfill. I used to find these in Sacto record bins quite often, however those were different times. Now they are scarce scarce scarce.