Patrick Lew Band's 2003 debut album Psychotic Love is reviewed.

PATRICK LEW BAND is the project of one-man band Patrick Allan Lew. Psychotic Love is an out-of-time, out-of-mind, and out-of-space production self-released on the MP.com label. Lew is an unconventional songwriter and guitarist. Using fragments of standard chords and jagged cadences and syntaxes, his songs comment on the status of the world he experiences, although not necessarily sees. As such, this is emotion-based music. He's listened to his record collection, especially the Fall and late '70s British punk. His songs are about rage -- cultural, individual, political, and sexual -- often, as in the case of "Anti-Fascist Cunt" and "Sarah (The Date With Amusement)" in the same song. But there's more than just venting here. Lew's guitar playing -- primitive and rustily razored as it is -- is completely and utterly compelling. His musical ideas don't add up by themselves, but in the context of songs like "Mr. Gullible," "Hilltop Fields," or "Poignant Romance," they become compositional testimonies to the unruly boundaries that can be found on the fringes of Western harmony and its resultant echoes. This is rock & roll that turns in on itself and turns on the listener as if, by proxy, she were the very object of Lew's raged and alienation. Psychotic Love could have also been entitled "Forthcoming Delusions." It's shrill, atonal, insidious, and quite beautiful in its uncompromisingly twisted fascinations with sex, death, honor, and disorder.

Thom Jurek
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