Psychic Data [CS/DL; Copper Mouth]

Everything about Oakland’s Dye is a throwback to 1990s indie rock.

Hopefully, you’re still reading. I imagine many, like me, were immediately drawn into the band’s logo—and in particular, its halcyon font. Man, I feel like I’m thumbing through a mid-90s edition of CMJ and listening to the mix CD that came along when I listen to Psychic Data. A weird blend of post-shoegaze, pre-drone, and alternative flourishes. I know this is likely a turn off for a few, but sometimes (only sometimes) it pays to play in a bit of nostalgia. Dye does not shy away from influences and noises 25 years past their expiration date. But those of us who lived through the decade were able to discern the turn from the organic to the manufactured sounds that would come to populate, then dominate, alternative music by 1995-96 that it made the return of bubblegum pop, boy bands, and disposable pop stars the commodity that [what’s left of] the major labels continue to trade in.

This is why Dye is the authentic article, and therefore it’s far beyond throwback Stockholm Syndrome at work. These kids are too young to mine that era for anything worthwhile in terms of broader music appeal, and if Psychic Data were a modern day scam it’d have a lot more electronic manipulation, a bit of “mood”, and elements of atmospheric pop in an effort to seek radio play (or nowadays a seat in the Spotify algorithm so that is appears on every other generated streaming playlist). Dye is just earnest enough that, right down to the patch/sticker-as-logo for guitar cases, skate decks, and heavily papered street lamps in downtown metropolises, you’re almost transported back to a dingy hole in the wall brimming with kids just seeking a bit of community while everyone else begins wearing hemp and ball necklaces, frosting their tips, and chasing those Hot Topic bands that turned the remnants of the underground into market trends.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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