Decibel subscribers already read about the making of Philly metallic punk trio Backslider‘ and the making of their new album, Psychic Rot, in issue #209. Nearly 15 years into their time as a band, it feels like the trio—bassist Jake Smith (Eye Flys), guitarist/vocalist Logan Neubauer and drummer Jake Cregger (Triac)—hit their stride with the most varied, heavy album of their career.
Backslider have always defied easy genre categorization, but the diversity is amped up on Psychic Rot. Their sound is equal parts Melvins-esque sludge, ’80s hardcore punk/powerviolence, skronky noise rock, ripping deathgrind, touches of prog and psychedelia, plus a little of whatever else the band members listen to. Psychic Rot fully captures Backslider’s off-the-wall live energy, particularly on “Bone Thief” and “Goat Snuff,” two songs where each musician sounds like they’re pushed to the edge of their endurance.
“Psychic Rot is the closest we’ve come to achieving our ultimate artistic goal as a band—the power and filth of extreme music blended with dark melody and psychedelia,” Neubauer tells Decibel. “A lot of actual physical pain, emotional torment and manic energy went into the making of it. These songs were written during what were probably the darkest periods of my life and, to me, represent purging that darkness and negativity from my psyche and trying to start over…both personally and as a band.”
There are 10 tracks on Psychic Rot and each feels essential; even the interludes show off Backslider’s affinity for synthesizers and sampling. Fans of heavy, fast or sludgy music would be doing themselves a disservice by not listening to Psychic Rot, due out February 11 on To Live a Lie and streaming now via Decibel.