|EP by White Zombie|
|Studio||Noise New York
(New York City, NY)
|Genre||Noise rock, garage rock|
|Producer||Kramer, White Zombie|
|White Zombie chronology|
Psycho-Head Blowout is the third EP by White Zombie, released in May 1987 by Silent Explosion. The album was recorded with producer and composer Kramer and was the band's first to feature guitarist Tom Guay, who had a pivotal influence on the band's sound. It was also the debut release of the band's short-lived label Silent Explosion. The record was the band's first release to receive critical notice and gained them premonition in underground circles.
The music that comprises Psycho-Head Blowout was recorded by producer and composer Kramer at his studio Noise New York. In an interview with Creem, Rob was very critical of Kramer's work on the album, saying that he "wouldn't do anything we told him to."
Although Psycho-Head Blowout was White Zombie's first release to receive praise from more prestigious critics, most of the attention was directed towards the live shows surrounding the release of the record. Simmons of The Village Voice wrote, "Their recent EP Psycho-Head Blowout reams the cranium quite nicely, but the live shows will really open your skull" while Smith from the same newspaper simply wrote, "Seethisband. Seethisband. Seethisband. Go." During this time the band toured mostly with other local New York bands such as the Swans, Rat at Rat R, Pussy Galore and The Honeymoon Killers. "We didn't really fit in", recalls Sean "it felt like the East Village scene was amused by us, at best".
Release and reception
Psycho-Head Blowout was pressed to vinyl and released on White Zombie's own label Silent Explosion, limited to a pressing of one thousand copies. The album made its debut on CD when it was included in the 2008 anthology Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. In 2016, it was re-issued on vinyl in the anthology It Came From N.Y.C., with remastered audio courtesy of guitarist Jay Yuenger.
In an interview, Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain pointed to Psycho-Head Blowout as being one of his favorite EPs, praising Tom Guay's guitar playing style as being "fucked-up, bending strings, borderline in-tune--that type of chaos". Retrospective reviews have been mostly complimentary. Allmusic writer Bradley Torreano gave the album three out of five stars, saying, "young Rob Zombie sounded like Damaged-era Rollins, while the band crafted some of the gnarliest grunge on the East Coast" and that "any fans of the New York noise scene would do themselves a favor by hearing this album". The Trouser Press wrote "the foursome was just beginning to pay attention to its audio obligations: guitarist Tom Five started to pluck some sputtering MC5-esque leads from the unctuous sea of sonic muck, and drummer Ivan DePrume channeled some of his plentiful brute force into structured beats. By most standards, however, Psycho-Head Blowout is still a mess." 
The picture of the band on the front cover was taken by Michael Lavine, who had previously worked as a fashion photographer. He had been friends with Sean Yseult and was asked to take the band's picture for the cover despite having never done that kind of work before. The photo made an impact however, as no one else was releasing albums with their picture on the cover at the time.
The quotes "How's everything in the pimp business?" inscribed into the runout of Side A and "I don't know nobody named Iris" on Side B of the vinyl are from the 1976 film Taxi Driver.
Adapted from the Psycho-Head Blowout liner notes.
|United States||1987||Silent Explosion||LP||L10977|
- Simmons "White Zombie". The Village Voice. August 4, 1987. Cited January 9, 2011
- Smith "White Zombie". The Village Voice. August 4, 1987. Cited January 9, 2011
- Yseult, Sean. "Psycho-Head". I'm in the Band. 2010. pg. 17, cited January 9, 2011
- Torreano, Bradley. "White Zombie: Psycho-Head Blowout > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Minsker, Evan (June 6, 2016). "White Zombie: Psycho-Head Blowout EP". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Forget, Tom. "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie". Allmusic. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Minsker, Evan (February 16, 2016). "Numero Group Releasing White Zombie Box Set". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- DeRogatis, Jim. "Milk It!". October 2003. pg. 7
- Fasolino, Greg; Sprague, David (2007). "White Zombie". Trouser Press. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- "Grunge by Michael Lavine". January 2010, cited June 11, 2010
- Psycho-Head Blowout (sleeve). White Zombie. New York City, New York: Silent Explosion. 1987.