Sometimes when you’re in need of a real banger, you gotta look back. Recently, I’ve found myself going back over twenty years to to alt. metal band System of a Down‘s massive 2001 album Toxicity, which spawned the huge singles “Chop Suey”, “Toxicity” and “Aerials”. While not making as big of a splash, the album’s fourth single “Psycho” has remained the loopy jam that has most often crept back into my mind over the last two decades.
It’s something about Serj Tankian‘s rampant delivery of the lyrics, turning the words “Psycho, groupie, cocaine, crazy” into the maddening rant of a cult leader about to perform a virgin sacrifice, that makes this song as terrifyingly infectious as it is. There’s also the bulldozing drums, creating their own style of industrial tribal music, mixed with the Arabic scales on the woozy verses that turn 180 into abrasive distorted chords on the chorus.
The song doesn’t just make you want to bang your head. It makes you want to cover your body with war paint and perform an arm-flailing dance around a bonfire. It’s dark in tone, but not without a psychotic grin and glint in the eye of the narrator.
Get rocked back to 2001 while listening to the track in our Bangers of the Week playlist!