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Pseudo/Sentai - Bansheeface CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.03 | 18 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I had the great pleasure of meeting Greg on a recent visit to New York. I've spoken with him online for a couple of years and one thing that has always come across is that Greg's great passion in life is music, specifically creating it. But it is one thing to read something online, and another to speak to a person face to face and see the passion barely contained as they speak about what it is they dream to do. How the only thing they can talk about is how they are making their dreams come true, the problems they have anticipated and the means they have taken to circumvent these problems.

Throughout the course of my life, I have run across a number of other friends who have been involved in the making of music, but it is rare that the music they create interests me enough that I would listen to it even if they hadn't been involved in the creation of said music. Pseudo/Sentai is one such band, and I have been cheering them on since the release of 'Natures Imagination', which captivated me immediately with its sideways melodies, aggressive tones and layered vocals.

Bansheeface is definitely my favorite thing the band has done so far. They are still on the upwards crest, where each new album finds them refining their songcraft, improving their sound and tightening the arrangements, and I think with this album they have reached the level of quality where discerning music fans will begin spreading the word.

Pseudo/Sentai have never struck me as being a typical band, and in general I struggle to find a reference point for then - if there is another band they sound like, I have yet to stumble across them. They follow the spirit of the experimental/prog indie rock scene, without really following in the steps of any other band. One thing I am always wary of with experimental music are the bands that take the experiment more seriously than the music, recording anything that sounds new without relating it back to how it can be used to create new music. Pseudo/Sentai don't fall into this trap, taking back their interest in layered vocals, off-beat rhythms, dense, tricky-hidden-melody approach to guitars, and digital age sound effects and applying them back to what have been better and better songs.

Historically, P/S albums have consisted mostly of a lot of short songs (less than 2 minutes) with only a handful of tracks surpassing the 3 minute mark. Their last album had 22 tracks, only four of which exceeded three minutes. By contrast, 8 of the 13 tracks on this album surpass that landmark. With the extra breathing room the band has allowed themselves, they are better able to drive home the point of their songs, leaving more memorable impressions.

The title track (at the time of writing the only track from this album generally available) is an excellent example of this, leading with a catchy guitar riff, then quickly building up before introducing the main vocal line. I think this may be one of my favorite vocal performances by Scott thus far. I am not sure if he does the background vocals as well as the foreground, but the back and forth between the two provides great contrast, and the foreground vocal line have some great melodies with quick and tricky melodies. This is all of course built on top of the dense layers of guitar, base, and drums. I am not certain if the denseness is created by the sheer volume of layers presented, or a stylistic choice in the production, but it really helps give the song a big sound.

The short songs are still present, giving us little nuggets of either sonic tapestries or lighter melodies, working excellent as bridges between the more involved longer tracks.

While I doubt we will be hearing this kind of music on the radio any time soon, I can see this album catching on and Pseudo/Sentai growing in esteem in the internet music scene. For someone interested in truly fresh progressive rock music, this album must not be missed.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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