Conditions of My Parole
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||Tiny Monsters||Puscifer||4:44||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Green Valley||Puscifer||3:54||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Monsoons||Puscifer||4:17||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Telling Ghosts||Puscifer||4:49||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Horizons||Puscifer||3:29||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Man Overboard||Puscifer||4:18||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Toma||Puscifer||3:39||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Rapture (Fear Is a Mind Killa Mix)||Puscifer||6:13||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Conditions of My Parole||Puscifer||2:54||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Weaver||Puscifer||4:40||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Oceans||Puscifer||3:42||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Tumbleweed||Puscifer||4:15||$0.99||View in iTunes|
After starting as somewhat of a joke band assembled for Mr. Show skits, Puscifer has become a more daring avenue of musical exploration for Maynard James Keenan, best known for his work with Tool and A Perfect Circle. Of course even when gloomy ambience and icy synthesizers form the thick sonic tundra of the opening “Tiny Monsters,” Keenan’s unmistakable vocals can’t help but warm things up. Check out the instrumental break, which layers various electro flourishes over programmed beats and distant guitar leads that all come together to sound somewhat inspired by Vangelis’ score for Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner. “Monsoons” is a beautiful standout where percolating rhythms gradually build alongside Keenan’s stacked vocals as a lush string section swells around the song to eventually drown it in rich textured tones. Fans of Keenan’s penchant for angsty musings will feel right at home in “Telling Ghosts.” Here a fierce verse explodes and then dissolves into a brooding chorus where multitracked vocals haunt the tune. The kinetic title track bangs, clangs, and trudges along like a well-oiled piece of industrial music machinery.
This album is so full of excellence it's not funny....even when the songs are funny. It's the story of a man stuck in the desert begging the earth for acceptance and help in his journey to make wine. I know that sounds cheeseball, but seriously, I imagine Maynard singing some of these songs as he stares into the sky (Monsoons), or while he stares at some rodent trying to eat his grapes (The Rapture.) I may get flak for connecting it this way, but it just seems so obvious that this is a love letter/plea for help/request of acceptance from the earth to let him continue doing what he loves. And it works. It really does.
A ton of people didn't like the first Puscifer release because they were expecting Tool or APC, but even the man himself said that this was 100% him, his creative space for things outside those circles...even if now and again a couple things sound like the aforementioned bands. Actually, the two tracks that sound the most like Tool on this disc are my least favorite (not that they aren't good,) because they just feel like they would fit better on a different disc somewhere. Other than the two tracks (Telling Ghosts and Toma) the album flows amazingly well. One of my favorite albums this year for sure. Give it a try, but seriously don't expect anything but a more focused Puscifer here. Slight hints of Tool, but 100% Puscifer. Excellent lyrics, excellent music, shaky in the harder sections...gets better with every listen.
Stand out tracks:
-Conditions of my Parole (classic Puscifer...I swear whenever I listen to this, I see the movie Run Ronnie, Run in my head)
Tracks that I'm not too sure about:
- Telling Ghosts
Conditions of My Parole
INDIVIDUAL SONG REVIEW WAY DOWN IF YOU WANT TA SKIP THE DETAILS. IN SHORT, IT'S AWESOME.
I first got into Puscifer around 2009, and I understood some of the skepticism that surrounded it generated from die hard Tool and APC fans. That's the last time I mention Tool or APC in this review because, frankly, I'm tired of people using these bands as comparisons. Puscifer is a different project entirely, and more creative in almost every way. The wonderful thing about this project is that it's not driven by a genre, but by emotion and creativity. I quickly fell in love with the V album, the EPs, and the Remixes. Now, on to Conditions of My Parole.
Skeptics? Good news.
Fans? GREAT news.
Conditions of My Parole improves upon V in almost every way. Where on V you had a debut album that was high in quality, but seemed unorganized and random in places, you have on Conditions an album that is honed sonically and emotionally. Every one of these songs has a truly distinct characteristic to it. There are grooves to jam to, philosophize to, meditate to, get steamy to, and just about everything else. Stylistically, Conditions builds on both the "C" EP and V album with Maynard's bass-heavy voice and bass-heavy beats sacrificed for lighter, more melodic elements. The elements that ARE taken from V are improved upon and made better. I wouldn't neccessarily call this a "change," but it's definitely something different. Conditions will most likely draw in a lot of new listeners.
I tend to avoid this, but, in all honesty, all of the songs are unique and fabulous. I can't recommend "favorites."
Tiny Monsters (5/5): A light and curiously techno way to begin things.
Green Valley (5/5): Beautiful, meditative. By the end of this song, you'll have goosebumps.
Monsoons (5/5): A softer song similar to "Horizons" that conjures up images of the desert.
Telling Ghosts (5/5): YES. Emotional and heavy; think of the Undertaker.
Horizons (5/5): Another meditative imagery-invoking peice of the desert.
Man Overboard (5/5): The wonderful single; another example of how Puscifer can build up to an awesome climax. Heh.
Toma (5/5): This is the point where I asked myself: "Is there a bad song on this album?" Fun and heavy song; has lots of V elements to it.
The Rapture (5/5): Take everything awesome about a fiery desert sunset, and make it more awesome.
Conditions of My Parole (5/5): Makes you want to dance; injects some humor and signature groove to remind you that this is Puscifer.
The Weaver (5/5): A rock and groove infused weave of the desert.
Oceans (5/5): Somewhat like Monsoons, but especially emotionally moving...I may...have almost cried. NOT.
Tumbleweed (5/5): Desert-twinged banjos and muffled drums call you hoooOOoOmme.
I live in Texas which is kind of a joke desert, but I can imagine that listening to Conditions while driving through Arizona would be mind-blowing. Fans will be overjoyed and skeptics will be pleased. What are you waiting for? BUY IT.
Great stuff, a real artist making real art. Enjoy, he's not gonna be making music forever.
Formed: 2007 in Cornville, AZ
Years Active: '00s, '10s
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