Oh lord yes. The advance press as such has got it all fucking wrong. There is nothing shoegazey about the music that Mikey Hyde of the sleepy burg of Milford, Conn., makes as Medication. Nor is it fair to immediately throw it into the lo-fi bin along with sensitive souls like Lou Barlow, Bill Callahan, and John Davis. Hyde’s (get it?) use of tape hiss and feedback is a defter and darker manipulation, a summoning, a conjuring. Medication is some EVIL music, let me tell you. Skeletal and accidental and tinny like Cramps rehearsal tapes from the late ’70s, but that still doesn’t capture the sinister happenings afoot. Medication sounds like Beat Happening playing Satanic Majesties Request Rolling Stones-type stuff (or Charles Manson solo cuts or Sonics’ “The Witch”) in an L.A. crypt. It’s dark, panicked, and suffocating.
A friend heard “Don’t Die” when I was picking him up one morning and he started to have a panic attack. Honest! My favorite track is “TPM In Hard Times,” drumming on cardboard boxes and a simple, haphazardly de-tuned guitar line played over and over again while Hyde’s vocals bleed distortion all over the place, in between unearthly moans and snotty threats. “From My Window” bites Beat Happening riff (“Revolution Come and Gone”) and from its statical mojo, conjures up the long lost souls of the vocalists from the Sonics and the Count Five for one last little-boy-lost duet. “Farewell Letter” is so fucking enigmatic and bluesy, it hurts — chiming, lonely twilit riffs cut through a tape hiss murk all overlaid and messy, while the vocals are shrill and cutting and androgynous.
There are some similarities to early Royal Trux, Spiritualized, Cramps, but this album is pretty much its own thing. “Good” musicians are going to hate it. Fuck ’em.