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Our Puzzling Encounters Considered

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Album Review

The image of scattered, seemingly unrelated jigsaw pieces spread across the cover of Psyopus' second album, 2007's Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, offers a perfect visual representation of their chaotic, fragmented brand of arty math-metal. But of course there's absolutely nothing incidental about violently dissonant and Byzantine "songs" such as "The Pig Keeperís Daughter," "Insects" and "Happy Valentineís Day," all of which require an incredible amount of forethought, never mind musical dexterity, to assemble in the first place, and then keep from falling apart during performance. Oblique song titles like "Scissor F**k Paper Doll" and "Whore Meet Liar" also reflect the often impenetrable, dada-ist nature of Psyopus' lyrics, and it doesn't take a genius (although it may take a psychiatrist!) to surmise that Mike Patton-worshipping vocal freak show Adam Frappoli is the perfect creative foil for legend-in-his-own-time guitarist Christopher "Arpmandude" Arp's visionary sonic creations. Although the singer and the formidable rhythm section of bassist Fred DeCoste and drummer Jon Cole are all conspicuously excluded from Arpmandude's mini-orchestral tour de force on the Canon-like "Siobhanís Song," it's an instrumental of astonishingly gentle sweetness. Another, more intense, instrumental, the percussively intense "Imogenís Puzzle, Pt. 2," leaves one certain that somewhere, somehow, Frank Zappa is grinning; and chances are Uncle Frank would have gotten a good kick out of the musician in-joke that is "Play Some Skynyrd." In short: if music can be correlated to mathematics, this album would be an advanced course of Calculus or Trigonometry, so listeners too lazy to put in the necessary hours of study required to make head or tail of it should not even bother to sign up in the first place.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Rochester, NY's Psyopus plays an experimental form of art metal, contrasting high-grade musicianship with template-free arrangements and full-tilt-gonzo delivery often sounding like the work of Mr. Bungle or the Dillinger Escape Plan taken to the next plane of outlandishness. Formed in the fall of 2002 by wunderkind guitarist Christopher "Arpmandude" Arp (a regular columnist for Decibel magazine, and regional winner of Limp Bizkit's infamous guitarist search in 2001), vocalist Adam Frappoli, bassist...
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Our Puzzling Encounters Considered, Psyopus
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