This may be a first for me as a critic – Psycho Melodic Kill Switch is a band born out of a collaboration between two musicians in Saudi Arabia. PMKS is an oddly revolutionary entity in this sense, championing an underground rock and roll scene where music is frowned upon and societally rejected. More so, the outfit released the first ever Christmas song in the region, which was even more ballsy with its video championing same sex marriage. Their new tune is ‘Higher Than Keith Richards.’ Yeah, the title basically says it all.
Let’s first touch on the elephant in the room. PMKS is most certainly not higher than Keith Richards. Unless you’re sharing company with Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg, nobody in the room is higher than Keith Richards. With that out of the way, let’s move on to this bizarre blues piece. PMKS harmonize like a bunch of drunken pirates, which is sort of likable, but also pretty bad. They sing a bit like Keith Richards, so at least there is a comparison somewhere in there. The lyrics are equally as peculiar, citing their interstellar travels, lightsabers, and so on.
The production of ‘Higher Than Keith Richard’ isn’t too well executed, but it could definitely pass as garage rock. It’s poorly mixed, the distortion on the guitar microphones creates too much fuzz, and the final master isn’t well balanced. Again, garage rock? Sure. Anything beyond that would definitely need a remaster of the content. It would be probably be worth the time, too, because I think PMKS is onto something, even if it’s weird and off-kilter.
‘Higher Than Keith Richards’ is not a good song. It is somewhat fun, though, and there is a place for this in an underground garage rock scene. It may even fare better as a satire. It’s very Star Wars themed, so at least their timing is right.
By Brett Stewart
I’m a professional writer and editor, a journalism major, and I have extensive experience in musical review. I worked for two years as the Editor & Chief of an arts magazine, Strike Magazine, where I worked closely with writers and musicians. Through this, I was able to interact with dozens of acts including Heart, Holly Williams, Robert Cray, John Hiatt, and more. The magazine printed thousands of issues and was even recognized by Rolling Stone’s founder, Jann Wenner.