Fear the Penguin
PSOMA: Justin Fisher - Guitar, Lead Vocals E-Z - Lead Guitar, Vocals 'Speedy' Pete Novitch - Bass Guitar, Vocals Marc Blitstein - Drums, Vocals The sun sets once again on the thriving Los Angeles rock scene, leaving new rock bands a transformed landscape on which to perform. It is an environment in which only the strongest, most determined and talented bands seem to thrive. The Hollywood-based Psoma is just such a band. Featuring a classic four piece line-up, Psoma (with a silent 'P') delivers an energetic brand of music that combines elements of new wave and punk, supercharging it with the sort of turnarounds, dynamics and melodies that have long fueled straight-ahead rock-and-roll a la The Foo Fighters and Stone Temple Pilots. 'The songs always come first,' says the band's bassist Pete Novitch. 'We work really hard on writing the best songs possible. But when we walk on stage, it's all about giving the audience a good old fashioned ass kickin'.' On the band's self produced debut album 'Fear the Penguin', the lead vocals are sure, strong, and backed with solid harmonies. The guitars are loud and aggressive, and the rhythm section is consistently locked into tight grooves that exhibit as much flare as they do tasteful restraint. Live, the band performs the songs faithfully but with just enough enthusiasm and in-the-moment looseness to create incredibly memorable shows. Marc Blitstein, the band's drummer, says it best: 'Psoma is jumping in your car, turning up the tunes, stepping on the gas, and sticking your head out the window. Now take a deep breath and a good look around. That, my friends, is Psoma!.' It may seem strange for a band to have become so solid in such a short period of time, but Psoma's origins stretch much further back. Just a few well-worded searches on the web will bring up lead vocalist Justin Fisher's name in a number of interesting places. He grew up with the guys from Weezer, recorded a strong rock-pop album with the L.A. based band Shufflepuck (Interscope), recorded/collaborated on three more albums with The Rentals (Maverick) and Nerf Herder (Fat Wreck Chords), and toured with those bands around North America, Europe and Japan. 'I've had the chance to do some of really cool stuff,' Justin says with a smile. 'I've been around a lot of great artists, made some good music, and played some rocking shows. But for years I've been going back and forth across the country looking for the right guys to put Psoma together; it's funny that I'd find them right here in LA.' As luck would have it, Pete, Marc and Justin met through mutual friends of Nerf Herder. They immediately hit it off and began playing shows in LA and Santa Barbara as a three piece, but soon added Iain Wade on guitars and vocals to round out the band. 'When Iain met us for the first time, he was very forgiving,' says Justin. 'He saw us in some little bar in Hollywood on not one of our better nights, but he really dug the vibe of the band. He's a stellar guitarist, a cool guy, and his hair looks like it's on fire. He is a star.' © 2002 Amherst House Records.