Wading through The Psychic Paramount’s thick instrumental prog-psych shitstorm is a revelation in light of the fact that this aesthetic is pretty much a non-factor these days, its ear-bleeding and gooey guitar chords stabbage and ginormous drums action dripping with sublime noise. The similarly-minded Don Caballero are long gone, so is The USA Is A Monster. OXES and Hella vanished and Battles don’t really work in this niche. That leaves this NYC trio as the only ones standing, and II has been a long time comin’ in the wake of their debut LP Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural, which came out way back in 2005 (No Quarter). Nevertheless, it was worth the wait.
Had Glenn Branca been schooled on King Crimson instead of classical music and hadn’t been busy inventing no wave, he might have meandered down the same path as The Psychic Paramount. Traversing the ol’ reliable guitar-bass-drums route but creating music that is anything but simplistic, these dudes drag arty prog-rock through the mud, get apeshit loud, form symphonic walls of dissonance, smoke the psych-rock weed, and go way titan on these seven tracks. The Psychic Paramount ratchet up the sonic assault right out of the gate, breaking into album opener “Intro/SP” with a reckless but oh-so-controlled abandon bustling with waves of Sonic Youth-ish machine gunner guitars. Drew St. Ivany proves the unsung, under-the-radar hero of the rock underground, the trio’s lone axe-man’s guitar mastery takes him effortlessly pedal hopping from dreamy distorto groundswells and Don Cabby brainiac-busting 1990s-era math-rock convolutions (“DDB” and “RW”) to stadium-rock riffage (“N6”), sludgey noise-rock (“Isolated”), and avant-jazz forays (“N5 Coda”).
While the band does channel math-rock classics like Don Cab’s American Don (Touch and Go, 2000), The Psychic Paramount’s II is no mere retread of a yesteryear genre. This is challenging, shape-shifting music constructed by a skillful power trio who know precisely how to wield their instruments and ideas into epic songs meant to be played loud as fuck.Visit: The Psychic Paramount | No Quarter
Purchase: Insound | eMusic