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Pseudo/Sentai Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2) album cover
3.15 | 14 ratings | 9 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe (3:29)
2. Photoperiodism (2:51)
3. Oil Hurricane (2:01)
4. Foliage Flower (1:51)
5. Keeper of the Stars (4:51)

Total Time 15:03

Line-up / Musicians

The Sentai / all instruments

Releases information

Written by Pseudo/Sentai
Recorded by Pseudo/Sentai

Album Cover: Lindsey Burrows
Back Cover: Scott Baker
Credits Page Photo: Laura Greene

Released July 24, 2012

Thanks to Smurph for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PSEUDO/SENTAI Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2) ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PSEUDO/SENTAI Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars Progressive classic video game rock.

Pseudo/Sentai are (currently) a young quartet from Columbus, Ohio, an area which I've kept my eye on since fellow Columbus-based musician Cloudkicker made a name for himself. P/S, however, are quite different from the djent/post-metal/ambient style of the aforementioned artist, and instead create a unique mix of synth-based symphonic video game music and heavy progressive rock musicianship.

Nature's Imagination (Part 2) starts off with the emotional, brooding synth work of "Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe" that sounds similar to the music from Super Metroid for the SNES, but eventually kicks off into powerful anthemic rock and a beautiful cascading guitar melody. But one of the only real problems I have with this EP is on this song, and that is the vocals -- they're not awful, but they sound slightly off-key, but that might simply be a consequence of the home production -- but the musical arrangement makes the song enjoyable nonetheless.

"Photoperiodism" has an interesting indie music meets island music vibe to it that reminds me of The Spinto Band but with choir vocal effects that are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes. The quickly-played, playful guitar melody sounds like something Steve Howe might have played, and the swelling synths that appear halfway through the song, though subtle, create a surprisingly effective atmospheric climax.

"Oil Hurricane" brings back the video game music influence and is almost entirely dominated by aggressive 8-bit synth melodies, but heavy riffing also appears. It's a relatively short track that mostly serves as an interesting interlude before "Foliage Flowers" begins with it's soulful autotuned vocalizations and dusty piano melody. This song is also relatively short and serves as a (more) interesting interlude.

"Keeper of the Stars" has an interesting '80s new wave type of vibe to it, and is really quite relaxing and has an underlying spacey atmosphere enhanced by electronic sounds and the echoed vocals.

Nature's Imagination (Part 2) as a whole has a lot of interesting ideas crammed into a impressively short runtime, and (more impressively) it all works well together. The compositions are interesting without sounding like overkill, and they're catchy enough without sounding too simple, and though they sound completely different, these attributes are what made Rush such a great band, in my opinion. The only real criticism I have is against the production, but it's obvious that not every small band can get professional, squeaky clean production, but I'd also argue that this production style has a very rootsy, real kind of feel that has been either lost over time or reserved for lesser bands who like to operate under the "indie" genre umbrella. Pseudo/Sentai are an interesting young band, and they deserve your attention, so get at it and download this free EP.

Review by HolyMoly
3 stars This EP-length release, ostensibly the latest chapter in an ongoing saga, has an abundance of musical ideas that belies its temporal brevity (it's 15 minutes total). I had to listen quite a few times before I could pin it down -- there's quite a bit going on at once, while at the same time, it's not a "difficult" or "inpenetrable" album either. It just covers a lot of bases in a short amount of time, while sticking to the general ground rules of Western music. In fact, at times it seems eager to employ as many these rules as it can!

"Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe" is an inviting opener with high harmony vocals throughout, string synth patches, and a heavenly air to it (somewhat macabre, given the title). There's a neat section in the middle with an odd but nicely flowing chord progression in an odd meter. "Photoperiodism" might be my favorite of the five tracks, employing acoustic guitar sounds in a folk rock vein, and a nice circular melody that eventually gets some nice counter melodies piled on top. "Oil Hurricane" is probably the "weirdest" track, with twisting synth lines creating confusion only to rein it in to show those synth lines belonged together after all. The brief "Foliage Flower" feels like the long intro to a dramatic song that never really comes, an epic piano ballad boiled down to its essence. Finally, "Keeper of the Stars" ends on a brooding note, a dark groove with subtle changes in coloring throughout, occasional playful licks coming in and out, and gaining in intensity before slowly spiraling away in confusion. An odd track, that.

While I still can't quite grasp the overall "agenda" of this band, and they play a style of music that I have not really heard before, I can't deny it's compositionally sound (well constructed if complex chord progressions) and has no shortage of melodies. It's a bit too short to really make a huge impression on me, but what's here is likely to please any fan of modern ambitious music that isn't easily classified and doesn't stay in one place too long.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2)' - Pseudo/Sentai (6/10)

Although it may not have been optimal to be introduced to this band through a sequel-record (and an EP no less), the second instalment of the "Nature's Imagination" series says alot about who Pseudo/Sentai are, and what their sound is all about. Although the band's primary ingredients consist of modern alternative rock and prog, there would be little point in comparing them to Radiohead or Coheed and Cambria. Instead, Pseudo/Sentai have left me in a rare position where I might call their music 'unique'. Tossing in every style from indie rock and pop to metal, electronic and 8-bit video game music, Pseudo/Sentai's experimental collage is striking and feels unsettling, in just the sort of way that experimental music should. Although "Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2)" is sonically interesting as anything I've heard this side of Alpha Centauri however, the way they have compiled these ideas is patchy at best. It's raw, inconsistent, and well worth a listen if you're looking for something off the beaten path.

At fifteen minutes long, it's surprising how many ideas and sounds Pseudo/Sentai are able to cover. Each track adopts a new set of styles to work with. "Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe" is an abrasive alt rock soundscape fuelled by math rock riffs, atmospheric ambiance and industrial percussion. By contrast, the second track "Photoperiodism" switches the sound almost entirely, focusing on bright acoustic twang and the sort of warm vocal harmonies you might expect from a cute indie folk group. What's remarkable is that Pseudo/Sentai are able to reinvent themselves with each track. For further proof; the third track "Oil Hurricane" inducts extreme metal rhythms into the 8-bit 'video game' format. Especially on the first listen, Pseudo/Sentai gets the senses reeling. Considering that none of the tracks here even hit the five minute mark, they spend very little time in each of these worlds they craft. While the brevity keeps the band's more gimmicky experiments from wearing out, the compositions feel like they have been kept as sketches. Although you're likely to remember an idea or two from the album, there's no song in particular that will leave you wanting more. A possible exception to this is the Coheed-esque "Keeper of the Stars" (which bears a conspicuous sonic similarity to Coheed's "Pearl of the Stars"), where Pseudo/Sentai return to the laid-back acoustic prog of "Photoperiodism" and let their more conventional influences take over.

It shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but "Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2)" feels completely scattered as an album. There are tossaway ideas meshed in with the excellent ones, although given the 'everything but the kitchen sink, and then the kitchen sink' approach these guys take to the music, that should be expected. One thing that seems to bind the album together are remarkably tuneful vocals that fit snugly in with the Claudio Sanchez (of Coheed) and Cedric Zavala (of The Mars Volta). Against a backdrop of sonic chaos, it's strange to hear vocals that I would have otherwise expected in an indie or alternative rock band, but they work well to give Pseudo/Sentai's music here a bit of consistency. The only poor exception is where they break the cardinal rule on "Foliage Flower" and break out the autotune, to a less-than-favourable result. Of course, Pseudo/Sentai aren't a band that's concerned with perfection. Instead, they give a fifteen minute dose of experimental ideas. Even taking the bad with the good, "Nature's Imagination" is worth checking out. Love it or hate it, you'll remember it.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Pseudo Sentai are a conglomeration of experimental effects, indie alternative and art rock that have somehow achieved the 'difficult to pin down' genre. No amount of labelling will describe their music though they fall into the crossover box more easily than other genres. Listening to the EP "Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2)" is an intriguing experience because the songs all stand apart from one another. None of them outstay their welcome, but this is really a short listening journey for newcomers to the band, albeit a pleasant refreshing musical taste.

The EP opens with 'Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe' launched by ambient violin synths. Then the tranquillity is offset by the dissonance of offbeat and rather abrasive multilayered vocals, that are off key and battle against the beauty of the ribbons of synth. Suddenly I realise I need to prepare for a sonic journey as the experimental off kilter style is a trait of Pseudo Sentai. The band are earning a reputation for being out of the box in musical terms, and they jump completely out, defying description on this EP. Every song is distinct and unlike the other, which is refreshing when so many bands tend to emulate their own style song after song.

A case in point is that the next track 'Photoperioism' stands alone opening with bubbling burbles and then an indie folk rhythm locks into place. The harmonies are astonishing, so well executed that I had to check out the singers, only to be greeted with a cryptic listing of The Sentai play all Instruments. A bit of digging around will unveil that the band are a duo, often referred to as Blue and Red, that embark on these projects or recordings using home recording tools. The Residents music springs to mind at times listening to these short experimental ditties, and of course the anonymity adds to the mystique, though I don't believe Pseudo Sentai don eyeball masks to maintain this.

Having stated all this, the band are curiously accessible especially on songs such as 'Oil Hurricane; which could be mistaken as the latest soundtrack of the new Mario or 8 bit retro game of the like. The video game sound is endearing and is joined by more aggressive vocals with odd lyrics; "The fair haired children decorate the tether ground, the soundtrack to their end is their very own lack of sound, we all knew but we hoped this day would never come, the day the oil hurricane would stain the sun." I like the ominous quality of such lyrics adding to the drama accentuated by sparse musicianship.

'Foliage Flower' is stripped back to staccato piano notes and auto tuned vocals, again layered as harmoniously as is effective. The eerie effects create a dark atmosphere and, as an oddity, this short slice of inventiveness makes its marks and exits in a mere 1:50. The lyrics intrigue me and are as indecipherable as the music; "Mysterious threading binding pine growth, into a dimunitive gift as careless as its maker, I can never reach high enough when altitude escapes me, spare me your artefact of fiction." Poetic to say the least, and the lyrics enhance the musical figures.

The last track is my favourite and is really a fish out of water as it sounds more like a new wave band, one that is interested in melodies, nice vocals and exceptional musicianship, that were really aspects missing from the previous tracks. This one has a retro 80s sound like a track from Depeche Mode in the early years, oddly enough, but is all the more enjoyable in its uniqueness among the oddities previous. The guitar work is superb joined by beautiful swathes of synths with an organic flow. Lyrically the words capture a timelessness that can be open to interpretation, at one point sounding like the hypothesis of a science experiment; "Glistening specks of diamond light look like dirt residue, when placed next to your smile and all that is you, leaves have turned orange in the fall air, and with wind they rain, carriages roll breaking for the light, and they fly back up."

The consistency of this last song and indeed the whole EP are the interjections of strange effects, spacey in places but overall generating an ethereal atmosphere. In conclusion, Pseudo Sentai are a band that inject passion and energy into their music, and refuse to adhere to one genre, opting instead to merge as many genres as suits their purpose. Whether it be 8 bit video games, indie folk, or experimental alt rock, the music is constantly developing in their darkroom where the initial snap shots are taken. As the songs take shape the music takes on its own life force, and the band simply go along for the ride, therefore the songs become their own entity. It's great that bands are still finding their own uniqueness in a world where so many artists are being manufactured by the industry. We need bands like Pseudo Sentai to keep the rest of the plastic self-manufactured artists honest.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars This fifteen minute long five track EP captures Pseudo/Sentai as a quartet, and is very different indeed from Greg's solo project. This is experimental alt rock that is all over the place, bringing in elements from punk and electronic as well as prog, and with some songs under two minutes in length they certainly don't fit the normal view of many as to what prog is and what is should be. It is a fresh sound, and feels very much like a young sound, with an attitude of "this is who we are and if you don't like it, tough!" about it. The vocals can be gentle and harmonious and at other times are very much in your face and aggressive. There are acoustic guitars and electric, piano and eighties synths, it is really is a total mix of sounds and styles in a very short period of time.

It can be quite hard to understand what they are trying to achieve, but what you hear is what you get; this isn't music that you have to concentrate on to get inside, it is there in your face. The longest song, "Keeper of the Stars", is also their best as it gets them enough room to stretch out and somehow bring in Indian style noodlings with The Offspring and gentle harmonies and fuzzed distorted guitars with indie pop sensibilities. Intriguing. Available from Bandcamp

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars And this is Nature's Imagination in its Chapter Two, now with five songs included in this EP making a total time of 10 minutes. It opens with "Landmark of Vascular Catastrophe" which has a sound different to the previous Pseudo/Sentai songs I had heard. Here keyboards open with a hero's movie-like theme, but after 30 seconds it explodes and rage comes along with heavy guitars and emotional vocals. This is a dynamic track, I like its various changes no matter its short length.

"Photoperiodism" is like a mixture of soft classic rock with indie, it sounds strange but it was the first that came to my mind, anyway, you know labels change depending on the listener. "Oil Hurricane" is a more interesting track to its sounds may be even funny, it is like the music of an Atari or NES videogame accompanied by raging vocals and later cool guitar riffs. A very nice track. "Foliage Flower" is a short track with a mid tempo style, piano and vocals, later drums enter and it becomes more intense. Nice, but not the most memorable.

This EP finishes with "Keeper of the Stars" is a great track, here it gathers all what Pseudo/Sentai's music is about; acoustic guitar with cool skills, programming marking the rhythm and working as background, metal-oriented guitars and nice vocals, which in moments remind me of both Sting and Roger Hodgson. I like their music, it is different and interesting, so if you have the chance listen to them. Please don't pay attention to my rating, just listen to them. Two stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars PSEUDO / SENTAI are a "colour-masqued" rock duo with unique innovative soundscape. This EP consists only of 5 short tracks, which cannot claim their versatility or ability completely but we can hear quickly their amazing appearance via this creation (and the sleeve is terrific for me really).

Their second track "Photoperiodism" reminds me the same texture like acid folk in late 60s. Through their relaxed circumstance (maybe), they play flexibly and easygoingly. In less than 3 minutes we can imagine their style and condition upon playing in a studio. Very curious how they explode on stage. "Oil Hurricane" is another pleasure mixed with complex, eccentric electronika and post-punk-ish fuzzy, bombastic voice modulation ... I guess they should squeeze their extreme grunge power most intensively of all. "Foliage Flower" is a short drama with their original psychedelia and avantgarde sound chateau. Sadly the last "Keeper Of The Stars" drenched in flashy, fashionable electronic spotlights and thin voice effects sounds not appropriate for the epilogue of this album.

My emphasis in upon the first track "Landmark Of Vascular Catastrophe" launches all of their great eclectic essence. One of the best songs I've listened to in this year, let me say. The last melancholic, atmospheric, symphonic part is very splendid indeed, but yes, their powerful vocal dissonance notifies us something like a fusion of fantastic dream and tough reality. Cannot help pushing a repeat button of a music player, to be honest.

An enjoyable EP.

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Report this review (#1005278) | Posted by Nick Dilley | Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was rating 3 stars and writing this review while I was listening to this EP for the second time. Now I get it. Pseudo/Sentai is an alternative/experimental rock band. I'm into Super Sentai, mecha and almost every sci-fi related stuff, so I decided to taste the band after a conversation wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#964634) | Posted by VOTOMS | Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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