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Superluminal Pachyderm - Perpetual Insanity CD (album) cover

PERPETUAL INSANITY

Superluminal Pachyderm

 

Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 2 ratings

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progaeopteryx
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ken Robinson, using the artist moniker Superluminal Pachyderm, released his third album in two years in 2001, under the title Perpetual Insanity. The title seems fitting for this weird music, with lyrics of abstract post-modern poetry layered on top of computer-generated compositions with influences ranging from neo prog, space rock, up to the silliness of Thomas Dolby and other oddball characters.

The album actually starts off with a song that actually seems to have some sort of meaning. The Möbius Strip seems to be about the whole history of humanity endlessly repeating itself in a long loop, much like a möbius strip. The song sounds a lot like neo prog, with spacey keys in the background. The machine-programmed drums can get to you after awhile, as the song plods along for over 14 minutes. There is a really neat instrumental interlude on piano around the 8 minute mark that is highly complex and reminiscent of Gentle Giant. If this had been used more regularly throughout the song, it would have been much more interesting. Instead, the song is overly repetitive. The psychedelic guitar solo at the end is a nice highlight.

Following this is a short track called Sork, basically a bunch of weird sound effects. This leads into a more radio friendly number called Bumblebee, featuring an echoing guitar riff. The effects in the vocals in the chorus are really neat. A bit repetitive, but a rather nice, almost hummable song with an overlying shroud of weirdness.

Next is the almost 18-minute long Dementia. This song has an eerie feeling througout on top of a driving rhythm almost like Pink Floyd's One of These Days. I haven't got a clue as to what this is about as it references dog biscuits, shoes looking out windows, bananas watching TV, dirty dishes, decaying sandwiches in a subway, vacuum cleaners (with sound effects), and toilets (also with sound effects!). The vocals on this piece are also particulary eerie sounding. I don't know if I should call this guy a genius or a nut. Whatever medication he's on, I want some too!

The Moment of Clarity starts off with an odd, slow and dark sounding piano riff. The song sounds sort of like a ballad, but it's just as weird as the last song. Filled with nonsensical lyrics and Robinson's trademark echoed and slightly distorted vocals, the song eventually peaks at the end with a psychedelic guitar solo to fade out the song. Although sloppily constructed, the solo seems to fit the song perfectly in it's overwhelming weirdness.

After a short track reprising the Bumblebee chorus, the seven-part, 13-minute long title track follows. Again, this is another weird and eerie number. To drive the point home, it starts with backmasked lyrics that basically say, "if you think about ladders, you will be dual." Some of my favorites lines in this song include "I sit around and collect jars of sneeze," "Another form of hypnosis, just like boiling water," "The butter is melting all over my table, I just sit there and roll marbles through it," and the vague "numbers can't compare to pipes." Wow.

After the last track is a bonus track that was shelved because there wasn't enough room on the original release of this album on the former defunct mp3.com. It found its way back on this album in a re-release. Again, it's another eerie and weird piece filled with lots of big words that make little sense when strung together in Robinson's lyrics. The lyrics are read out like a beat poetry reading with accompanying music and deep growling sounds in the background (no, nothing like death metal).

This is one of those albums you put on for a bunch of friends and watch them sit there for an hour staring into space with their mouths wide open. Don't forget to give them buckets for the drool.

progaeopteryx | 4/5 |

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