Psychic Paramount – II

January 01, 1970

(No Quarter)


An explosive burst of noise sets this CD in motion, red hot shrapnel
of guitar noise flying every way from the center.  Only when the shock waves have settled, does
the driving, motorik beat kick
in.  From this point on, whistles keen,
guitars scramble, bass pushes continually, frantically forward.  The reckless pace continues through seven
tersely named, ferociously driven tracks, with only the briefest of lyrical
interludes (the end of “Intro/SP” going into “DDB” for instance). This is
post-rock kamikaze-style, engines screaming engines, flames enveloping, as the
music cuts a brilliant arc through space.


Two of Psychic Paramount’s players — the guitarist Drew St. Ivany and
the bass player Ben Armstrong –come from disruptively brilliant, free-noise
innovators Laddio Bolocko. (The third member, drummer Jeff Conaway, played in
Sabers.)  II follows their opening salvo Gamelan
Is the Mink Supernatural
by more than five years. Gossip has it that the
recording process was torturous, and that much of the material had to be redone.
If that’s so, II shows no signs of
belabored-ness, or even much premeditation. Every cut vibrates with unharnessed
energy. A green sheen of radioactivity hangs over pounding, pulsing,
head-bending repetition.


Occasion intervals of clarity – “RW” for instance – link Psychic
Paramount to post-rock. Bits of noisy contradiction underline the connection to
Laddio Bolocko. Yet for the most part, this is too hot for Tortoise
comparisons, too groove-oriented to match up with Laddio. Production is such
that much of what you hear is swathed in vibrating distortion — the
continuous, roll-over-the-toms drum freakouts, the howling skree of feedback —
yet the fog only heightens a sense of risk and mayhem. This is one of the most
viscerally exciting rock albums of the year.




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