Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Psychic Paramount
II


Released 2011 on No Quarter
Reviewed by Lugia, 04/06/2018ce


Sometimes, there's these albums that come out that seem destined to fly under the radar, no matter how many accolades get heaped on it. This is one of those...and I can see why, but at the same time, I wish that wasn't so.

The Psychic Paramount is a NYC-based instrumental band that releases albums on a VERY slow basis; the span between "II" and the preceding album was a whopping six years. But there's apparently a method to this madness, and it comes across in the mind-warping hi-test quality of the tracks. Every sort of trippy direction you can think of gets fused together in this crucible, from the MC5's freer zones, to the proto-math weirdness of This Heat, to Glenn Branca's hammering wall-of-guitars, to the over-the-top psych-melt of Acid Mothers Temple, and so, soooooo much in between.

But it IS quite relentless. And for some, that can be way too much of a good thing...and yes, this is a very good thing, but that goodness just becomes overwhelming. I'm not saying that this is BAD, though...only that you have to have the time carved out to sit down and grapple with "II" on its own terms. So be forewarned: this is one of those 'peak experience' brain-melters that, unless you are truly READY for it...well, then you're not ready, and that's that.

Amazing things happen. As I said, the album has very little in the way of let-up, and when that does happen (such as in the sea of string-drone that finishes out "N5"), it's not really a full-stop, just a different sort of immersion. And when pauses do occur, rest assured that the impending head-rip is just ahead. "N6", for example, follows the aforementioned "N5" and yes, when the sound of what sounds like a 50-foot tamtam getting fed through a car-crusher roars in at about the 1/3-way point, you have NO other recourse but to allow your eyes to roll back in their sockets where they belong! Drooling is optional, of course.

This is not for the cheechako! Novices of the higher forms of sonic attack should probably steer clear! But if you feel you can withstand the howling cyclone of sonics and madness contained within "II", by all means give it a go. The dangers are great...but the rewards are GREATER.


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