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PSEUDO/SENTAI

Crossover Prog • United States


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Pseudo/Sentai biography
PSEUDO SENTAI was born out of an idea in 2007 by Greg Murphy and Scott Baker. (And named after none other than the Japanese show, Super Sentai). Deciding to wait to release music under their official name until a drummer was discovered, they slowly built up and arsenal of songs and released Scrapes of an Enigmatic Nature and Y.A.B.A.T under the moniker PATIENT'S WORTH. The first was a collection of stories, and the second a thematic concept album about discovering your significance by understanding your insignificance. They added Kyle Boggs to their lineup in late 2010. After this changeup, the switched their name to PSEUDO SENTAI. In 2011, they released the first chapter of 4 from Nature's Imagination is Greater than Man's. After adding bass player Anthony Rocazella in 2012, 'The Sentai' are ready to expand their universe.

Pseudo/Sentai official website

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PSEUDO/SENTAI discography


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PSEUDO/SENTAI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Scrapes of an Enigmatic Nature
2009
4.09 | 2 ratings
Y.A.B.A.T.
2010
3.91 | 11 ratings
There's Always a Fucking Problem
2013
4.00 | 7 ratings
Bansheeface
2015

PSEUDO/SENTAI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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PSEUDO/SENTAI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Halloween Treats
2010
2.52 | 4 ratings
Nature's Imagination (Chapter One)
2011
3.13 | 11 ratings
Nature's Imagination (Chapter 2)
2012
2.69 | 4 ratings
Blue Solo Mission: Making a Hole in the Center of the First Outside Planet
2012
2.05 | 3 ratings
MonstHER (Attack of the 50 Foot Actress)
2013

PSEUDO/SENTAI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Bansheeface' - Pseudo/Sentai (79/100)

I think there is something to be said for the kind of 'everything but the kitchen sink' progressive rock that seems to have fallen out of favour over the few years, provided it's in the hands of musicians who know how to wield it. Moreover, I'm most often impressed when a band dares to imbue pop sensibilities with a nigh-overwhelming complexity or attention to detail. Of the bands who come to mind at moment's notice, Queen is probably the best example who, in spite of having brilliant hooks worthy of being hummed along to enthusiastically by any soccer mom in between morning Zolofts and driving the kids to practice, earned some degree of infamy for the meticulous design of their arrangements and general snail's pace with which they produced their work. Given that Bansheeface has been a work-in-progress for the past five years, it's safe to say that Pseudo/Sentai deserve a share of some of this notoriety. And yes, while the music is undeniably experimental (occasionally taunting avant-prog territory), their music's always carried a strong melodic sensibility, no matter how chaotic it first appears. Bansheeface is, without a doubt, the most ambitious, layered and eclectic release yet from the young provocateurs, but so too has their strong pop essence benefited from the time and effort Pseudo/Sentai have invested in their craft this time around.

To a surprising degree Bansheeface still bears the proudly experimental imperfections that went a ways to defining Pseudo as early as the first demos, but whereon past work there was a clear gap between where they were and where they wanted to be, it feels as if Bansheeface is the first time the band's vision has been realized in a significant way. This is not to say that Pseudo/Sentai's EPs or debut It's Always A Fucking Problem weren't engaging, but the jarring aspects of their music often felt less like the vital side-effects of experimentation, and more along the lines of structural faults that the band had yet to rectify. Glorious, self-aware imperfection is what defined so much of P/S's music up to this point, and I do mean that in a good way. If my memory serves, Jon Poole of Cardiacs (whom Pseudo/Sentai's guitarist Greg Murphy admires as much as I do!) was quoted as saying something along the lines that perfection was repellent to him. Imperfection, by contrast (especially in experimental music) is often surprising and stimulating. There were technical issues I had with the earlier stuff, true, but Pseudo/Sentai's plain-weird fusion of modern prog with everything under the sun kept me on my toes.

That same gloriously imperfect experimentation is here on Bansheeface, but this time it's been coated with a level of polish and intention I'd never have thought to hear from them. If you need a basic idea of what Pseudo/Sentai sound like, think of what Coheed & Cambria (circa The Second Stage Turbine) might sound like if Claudio Sanchez had spent a year listening to Gentle Giant and wanted to make progressive rock of a similarly complex and eclectic nature. It wouldn't be out of line to associate P/S among the likes of so-called 'alt-proggers' like The Mars Volta and The Dear Hunter (and Coheed, of course) but that would only be scratching the surface of their style. The sheer eclecticism Pseudo/Sentai exhibit is naturally hard to pin down; they're not beyond echoes of 8- bit chiptune, flashes of metal and even noise (as heard in the would-be interlude "Trap of Assassination"). I think the thing that defines Bansheeface the most is the grappling sense of urgency and busyness; it takes little time to get started, and once it's gained momentum, it doesn't let up. Frantic guitar lines and multi- layered production (engineered by Colin Marston of Behold the Arctopus fame, no less!) give the impression of a whirlwind for the first handful of listens, though it's not long before that pleasant sense of familiarity sets in, thanks in large part to the album's lively hooks.

While it's a far cry from the quasi-grindcore microtracks that comprised There's Always A Fucking Problem, Pseudo/Sentai still relies on shorter tracks to express their point. I'm aware that these should be seen less as songs than as chunks of a seamless album-length composition, but the fact remain that Pseudo/Sentai take little time to make their point. The density of the band's music is one of their strongest selling points, though I found myself wondering while first listening to the album whether Bansheeface may have benefited from exploring a few of its better ideas at a more relaxed pace. Unsurprisingly, the most standoutish tracks are the more fully developed songs; "Black Matter of Machinations" is a fantastic example of what P/S can do when they lean on the conventional art of songwriting. Taking a driven route to atmosphere, Scott Baker's vocals (sounding close to some of the earlier mentioned alt- prog references) are finally given a chance to breathe amid the stifling arrangements- close comparisons could be drawn to their fellow East Coast proggers in The Tea Club.

The impression of fully fleshed songwriting tends to be an exception on Bansheeface, although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Like many excellent experimental acts, Pseudo/Sentai have thought it best to hinge their music on great ideas and moments over necessarily great structures. The album's Cardiacs-ish intro "Quantum Cardboard" is not only the best example of this but possibly my favourite bit on Bansheeface overall- the moment the drums light up over the quirky electronics is one of the most satisfying musical moments I've come across in recent months. Alas, other parts give me a strong opposite reaction. The pseudo-rapping at the beginning of "Immaculation" is close to [%*!#]ing unbearable (think Weird Al doing a Nintendo-themed Hip Hop album). It's thankfully an unmatched low point on the album- Bansheeface otherwise remains a respectable consistency with the success of its experiments. Even when I'm not altogether loving an idea of theirs (the noise-prone "Traps of Assassination" really feels out of place in the album's flow, for instance) Pseudo/Sentai have put enough meat on the bones of this album to keep me interested throughout.

For a band that's trying to do so many different things with an hour of music, I'm not surprised that there are parts of Bansheeface I don't care for. What matters to me is that I get the impression that the zany experiments Pseudo/Sentai have mustered were done so with passion and vision. Bansheeface achieves the fulfillment of vision I struggled to find on Pseudo/Sentai's past output. In doing so, I think it's safe to say the album marks a new stage in evolution and maturity for the band.

By the way, did I mention it's a concept album? Some wacky [&*!#] about alien political intrigue, man-eating Selkies and the eponymous Bansheeface, whom I might have been able to write a bit about had I understood a splinter of what the [%*!#]ing story's about. Ripe material for a graphic novel to go along with the special collector's edition, I suppose?

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars I'm another collaborator who was asked, directly by the band, to review this album. It is a privilege to be sure! Like the other reviewers, I would enjoy listening to Bansheeface even if I had not been specifically asked. I listened to a few earlier songs by the band, as a frame of reference, before starting to gather my ideas for this review. However, I can't talk at length about Pseudo/Sentai's other music. The general critical consensus seems to be that Bansheeface is as good, if not better, than Pseudo/Sentai's earlier albums.

Other reviewers have stated that they found it difficult to compare Pseudo/Sentai to other bands. My immediate reaction when I started to listen is that it sounded like System of a Down. That is definitely a compliment in my opinion. Specifically, the way the songs are written and structured and the harmonies are what brought System of a Down to mind. Of course, Pseudo/Sentai are not just a copy of another band; they are not as strident or lyrically obscure as our favorite Serbian metal band. Pseudo/Sentai are often labeled as sounding a lot like The Mars Volta. I don't know enough about The Mars Volta, who've always sounded too manic for my tastes, to make a good comparison.

On Bansheeface, Pseudo/Sentai mix industrial and electronic influences in with the other elements in their sound. My favorite songs on the album are probably the longer ones, which allow the musical ideas to develop. "The Holy Metamorphacity" and the title track are two of my favorites. There are even some good old-fashioned guitar solos on the album! Pseudo/Sentai is a group of undoubtedly talented people who have the skill to make the ambitious music they're aiming at. Bansheeface gets a very well-deserved 4 stars.

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
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.

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by Kazza3

3 stars Pseudo/Sentai's latest (and strongest) effort, Bansheeface, continues the band's move towards increasingly captivating and consistent music, and from a homegrown sound to a more professional one. The album is unreleased at the time of writing, but has been made available by the band to reviewers, upon request. The music is modern and schizophrenic at times, and from the point of view of a Mars Volta fan (whose influence on the band is often noted) it seems to marry the heavy guitars/organ/drums dominance of early Volta with smaller amounts of the synths and electronics of late Volta (and late Omar Rodriguez-Lopez solo albums). That's not to say the album sounds overtly like The Mars Volta- the influence is clearly there and the basis behind much of the sound may be similar- but the actual musical content is very different, being usually stranger, more eclectic and wayward, and less epic/anthemic.

The album is divided between major songs and a number of small interludes. The interludes, mostly based on very noisy synths/programmed beats, don't really seem to add a great deal to the album, the most interesting one being the intro track 'Quantum Cardboard'- which, however, doesn't make a great album opener. The synths integrated into the tracks proper are a much more interesting use. There are also ambient/concrete music interludes attached to the end of various tracks (in the style of such interludes on early Volta albums) which feel similarly stuck-on. The real music lies in the full-length songs, from the driving 'Terraformed Transcendence' to the heavy and rhythmic title track and the dark ostinato-based 'Classic Tactics of Xeno'. These are all bombastic, pitting the weight of the rhythm section (drummer Jeff Eber from Dysrhythmia assists a great deal here) against the multiple clever little guitar licks and keyboard flourishes. The frenetic twists and turns of the songs are sometimes too much, with too little to cling onto, leaving tracks feeling inconsistent and uninteresting- on the other hand there are also plenty of great hooks everywhere which really make the album. 'The Holy Metamorphacity' is another top track, and the weird Zeppelinesque ballad 'Black Matter of Machinations', by nature of the style, is one of the most coherent. The closing tracks begin to feel a little overly familiar (even if featuring a great guitar solo). The weakest point is the vocals, which, while mostly very good (and often excellent, especially when sung high and gritty as on 'Terraformed Transcendence' and others), are occasionally weak, unconvincing, or out of tune, a problem not helped by not really being mixed to the foreground, where the music usually demands they be. Additionally the vocals at the beginning of the weakest track 'Immaculation', almost rapped in a comedic style, are an unwelcome addition.

Overall, however, this is a very exciting album, doing a good job of balancing the drive against the flourishes, and of balancing the weirdness against the hooks.

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars I was another reviewer given the privilege of reviewing "Bansheeface" well ahead of time by Greg, and his own description of what is within does not do this album justice. After a neat opener with "Quantum Cardboard", we end up going through a good take on a Mars Volta-esque sound for a couple tracks, with calmer run-ups. But next thing we know, "Immaculation" ends up fusing in electronic sounds and effects, and as the record goes on we fall through a progified mix of noise, trip hop, more electronica, and a bit of out-and-out metal, as well as the Volta- esque riffs. The album ends on a note of acoustic guitar and noise sounding like something off of the masterful "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot". The singing goes from the usual metallic vocals on to something that at times feels like Gentle Giant or Haken. This is a savoury mix of genres I couldn't have ever expected, with each track done wonderfully. The best I could do to reproduce something sounding like this would be a mixtape that includes Volta, Haken, Portishead, Wilco, Nimh, and Riverside. Crossover indeed. Excellent, and will certainly prove a highlight of 2015 in prog.

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 Bansheeface by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 7 ratings

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Bansheeface
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was contacted by Greg, one of the frontmen for the band Pseudo/Sentai to do a pre-release review for this album. Since I haven't actually done a review by request before, I was happy at the prospect of getting to know some of the forum members and musicians that wander around this site looking for more of the music they love and inspiring each other. So, without knowing a lot about the band other than being able to listen to the amazing sounds on this album, I venture forth to do a review simply of this album not being able to compare it to other releases by the band, but with the hope that I can learn more about them, because, after listening to this album a few times, I must admit that I am impressed and want to hear more.

The band is categorized under Crossover Prog. I'm not exactly sure where that designation came from. Because of their similarity in form and style to The Mars Volta, I would be inclined to put them under Heavy Prog with an edge towards avant garde styles. This leaning comes from a very impressive use of chromatic scales and harmonies throughout their work on this album. The chromatic use is to help better harmonize the weaving of several melodies that play over and under each other throughout the tracks. This is done both in the layers of vocals and instrumentals that are worked into each track. But even when the tracks are not dense with multi-layered themes, the chromatic modes are still used.

If you are wondering just what I'm talking about, then you can again compare the style to The Mars Volta or maybe even Coheed and Cambria. The music from these bands can be quite dense sounding because of the use of many themes throughout their albums. They also use chromatic scales, more so on the part of The Mars Volta. That will hopefully give you a better idea of the complex sound that is going on in this album. Now, I have to say that one major distinction in the sound is that Pseudo/Sentai doesn't turn this multi-layering into a impenetrable wall of sound like the Mars Volta did on a few of their albums and this makes P/S's sound a lot more accessible. This is a great thing because even a lot of MV fans couldn't take the inaccessibility of the sound. With P/S, what you end up with is a sound that is somewhere between MV and Rush which is a very good place to be.

Now lets talk about the vocals. The vocals are great and strong. There is usually a really untraditional harmony going on a lot of the time which at first can be hard to get use to, but it doesn't take long to figure out that it all fits and is not really irritating, so you will come to accept the sound. The minor complaint I do have about the vocals is that they are at times unsure. Sometimes this works as a vulnerability, but not always. When using a chromatic mode, it is important to hit the odd harmonics spot on so that there is no confusion as to what kind of sound you are trying to convey. Without that surety, an odd harmonic can sound like it was unintentional to a casual listener. So if anything, I would work on making the vocals more certain. Also, at times it seems that quality in the singing suffers a little bit because the vocalist is trying too hard to make the lyrics understood. This preoccupation can be dangerous. It is better to maintain the quality of the vocals even if the lyric translation doesn't always come out so clear. Listen to most rock bands and you'll find that most of them don't care if you can understand the lyrics or not. Besides, most people will look up the lyrics themselves if they are not printed in the program notes somewhere. Anyway, like I said, these are not huge issues, just personal preferences.

So, now that I got the minor issues off my chest, I want to reiterate the fact that this is an awesome album and, if this album is indicative of their other works, I don't understand why this band is not at the forefront of the prog spotlight. Instead of saying "This band sounds like The Mars Volta", we should be comparing other bands to P/S. There are some stellar tracks here. Namely, the title track, "Sleeping Closer to the Ground", "Black Matter of Machinations", "Seeping Closer", and "March of the Selkies" just to name a few that stand out as unique. "Black Matter..." is more of a quieter track with some excellent vocals, "Seeping Closer" is a short intermediary track that has some ingenious and unique sounds (I love how the vocals have been manipulated here) and "March of the Selkies" has this traditional guitar solo that is bookended by the signature sound throughout the album. Does this traditional solo and rhythm sound out of place? Not at all. I wish that more bands would explore this style and I would welcome seeing traditional rhythms and solos interspersed more often in unique "neo-classical" techniques, as long as it is done tastefully and not leaving an inconsistent sound. This track is a good example of how it should sound. This also will help with accessibility as long as it is not overdone and it will still not endanger the quality of the music.

Another high point in this album is that the shorter tracks work in so nicely with the longer tracks. They don't seem like filler at all and for the most part, are just as essential and interesting as the longer tracks and that is something you don't find very often.

Anyway, for what it's worth, these are my feelings after hearing the album a few times. I believe this is a legitimate progressive band that needs to be recognized. Hopefully, the things I have talked about will pique your curiosity enough that you will search this album out when it is released. I believe this would be an excellent addition to any prog collection and, with some smoothing out of a few rough edges that I have mentioned, has the potential of being an essential recording. However, hearing the version that I have heard, I would rate this as a strong 4 stars. Very smart musicianship and great production with plenty of variety and dynamics.

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 There's Always a Fucking Problem by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 11 ratings

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There's Always a Fucking Problem
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars The fact that this album was recreated from bits and pieces of tracks P/S had after their laptops were stolen from them is? perhaps even demoralizing to the reader at first. It was pretty shocking to me that P/S manage to serve not only a good album considering the circumstances, but a great album which surprises with its consistency. Greg Murphy and Scott Baker's remarkable songwriting skills along with their noteworthy mastery of "amateurish" programs such as Garageband only help to show what ridiculous amounts of potential this band has.

I've known P/S for a couple of years now. I discovered them on the forums following Greg's advertisements of the band. I became an instant fan and me and Greg and I have voiced my fanboyism to Greg straightaway, which has led to a most beautiful virtual relationship which is worthy of its own romantic novel. Since that first contact P/S has managed to release another excellent EP and a few tracks but this album manages to bring a very satisfying punch quantity and quality wise. 22 mostly short tracks that jump schizophrenically from pretty semi-acoustic moments to full blown 8-bit mathy proggy pop rock. Yeah I really don't know what that even means. It's a wholly special sound which is lifted to incredible heights with Greg's composition skills. The tracks are usually terrifyingly complex and ridiculously catchy. There are tunes here that float all over the place- on the walls, under the carpet, and straight in your face, sticking to the side of your brain for weeks on end and accompanying even my stupidest everyday tasks. It is P/S's radically different sound and melodic touch which make me excited to hear anything new they have to offer.

What we have here is an impressive achievement. The sonic spectrum on this album is endlessly interesting to listen to. There is no drummer here but they manage to re-create a drummer fantastically using basic programming. The synths and weird effects are floating around here many times sounding like a bizarre horrifying 8-bit video game, the acoustic guitars have an almost indie rock flavor to them, while the electric guitars and Scott's dramatic vocals bring a whiff of metal. You can hear it from the pretty pianos in the beginning to the absolute joy of the seven "AP tracks" which capture an adventure in a video- game world and are so absolutely delightful and just plain fun- it's really just an entertaining album with a lot of depth to it. If anything, please listen to AP3- the melody has been stuck in my head for weeks and the layers of 8-bit synths is just freaking cool. Also "Pyro Cyclone Dancing the Weathervane Waltz" is a jaw dropper- the breath-taking crescendo is probably the awesomest moment on the album.

I have heard few bands who have managed to differentiate themselves from today's alternative underground dirty crazy old music scene of these days and still have such a grip on whatever pushes the emotions button in my brain. This album by any means shouldn't be good considering the really bummer consequences that lead to the way it was made, but it just is.

Give it a damn shot, it's on their bandcamp, eh?

P.S.: Look out, this album does probably contain the pun of the century. You'll know it when you hear it.

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 There's Always a Fucking Problem by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 11 ratings

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There's Always a Fucking Problem
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Bleep yeah I like this! It's so bleeping different than anything else i've ever bleeping heard. This album title arises from unfortunate situations. This band is basically two guys: Greg Murphy and Scott Baker. I can't explain the situation better than they themselves:

The Ghosts of Problems Past return to haunt the Sentai after an interdimensional jewel thief by the name of "The Vanishing Act" leaves P/SHQ in utter disarray. With many of their mission reports gone, the Loracle (their Zordon-esque lady-type computer... lady in a tube) is left with scattered memories that are now compensating for the freeing of space in her mainframe. All of these memories contained problematic specters with incomplete stories due to the Sentai's Hydra-like lack of focus. With time to fester and grow angry, the Ghosts are ready to end the Sentai's story altogether. To keep the Loracle immortal, the memories of the spirits must be allowed to manifest into their original state, to recreate the memories that once trapped them in the Lorbrynth.

(But really, our laptops were stolen from our apartment and had to part ways with a large portion of our material. We salvaged what we could from the wreckage and used mp3s for fully mixed songs that just needed vocals. We combined that with music we made for the short film "Skazka" and the animation "Zakiya" to create the 24)

That explains the bleeping title! Not sure how to describe this. Named after the Japanese TV show "Super Sentai" but nothing here reminds me of anything Japanese at all! We have an interesting list of influences here. I'm still not sure I can pinpoint them all but I hear everything from Depeche Mode style vocals, Pink Floyd acoustic guitar, bombastic proggy keyboards and symphonic elements. There's also metal power cords, indie pop with Koyaanisqaatsi type keyboards and even some black metal grim scream vocals appear briefly. A whole bunch of old video game effects are strewn about as well. After racking my brain the vocalist reminds me of an obscure electronica DJ named Q*ball. Most of the time i'm struggling to figure out who it reminds me of but never quite grasping the muddled insinuations popping in and out of my mind.

I guess overall this kinda sounds like an indie rock band like Neutral Milk Hotel, The Flaming Lips or even Muse (but not sounding like any of them in particular) collaborated with a prog band and then took a whole bunch of added elements from the past and incorporated them into unusal short musical pieces. The tracks are almost always melodic and a lot of the strangeness actually comes from the production itself. Strange synthesized sounds color the somewhat poppy sounding songs, but strange unorthodox song structures do occur.

PSEUDO/SENTAI are obviously into having a lot of fun making this stuff. Definately like nothing i've heard before! An interesting listen that leaves me wanting to hear where this band takes things next. I sure hope their bleeping problems subside so they can get to an even better follow-up! Very creative and fun.

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 There's Always a Fucking Problem by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 11 ratings

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There's Always a Fucking Problem
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Always!

Some months ago I saw on the net the name of Pseudo/Sentai, later I knew they were a band whose music has some kind of relationship with progressive rock, so I got interested just for it (yes, the name made me want to listen to them) and since then I've been a regular listener of their releases, which by the way, can be found at their bandcamp page. This project was started by two crazy guys Scott Baker and Greg Murphy back in 2007, their music is pretty experimental, with keyboards everywhere, lead and harmony vocals very often, noisy moments, zeulh-esque feeling and even some poppy tunes, of course, with a touch of Japanese culture (Sentai).

Their songs are normally short, like a brief storm or a lightning of sounds that last two or three minutes and then a new story is shared. In this album, entitled "There's Always a Fucking Problem" the band included 22 songs that together make a total length of 45 minutes, with only one over the 5-minute mark, so go figure, you will enjoy short but powerful and original 1-3 minute songs. The album was released in this 2013, being their third full length effort. Feel free to listen to it, I assure you will have a good time, if not, listen to them again haha.

Fasten your seatbelts, this flight is about to begin. It starts with "Briefing at Moniker Manor", which has a soft and even beautiful piano sound, but wait, don't judge by this start, later the music will surprise you. This instrumental intro leads to "There's Always a Fucking Problem" and here since the first seconds the tension is present, later vocals appear along with the omnipresent keyboard sound as background creating different nuances. What I love of this band, is their capacity of creating several inner changes in short songs, I mean it is lie a 2-minute rollercoaster that makes you feel loony and dizzy, but with a final satisfaction. "Shrubbreeze (Delightful Flight)" is again soft, with acoustic guitar, further voices and nice synth sounds making the rhythm. Little by little the band introduces new sounds keyboard lead passages and various vocal textures, great.

The longest song comes next with "Naught Shore", the first moments are almost quiet, then it begins its building and structure with inherent electronic tendencies, it is evident they like to offer this kind of electronic-rock mixture, which is very nice. The low profile is kept in the first three minutes, but later the song explodes, anger and energy are totally spread here, the voices are louder, the guitars begin to introduce its rage while keyboards keep the great rhythm. The last minute is much more symphonic. Lovely track that shows us their compositional skills, shows us they are a truly original project.

A cool and calm instrumental interlude comes with "Lashing Splashes", an acoustic guitar based track with some natural sounds as background, it is like taking a deep breath. Later "House of Harbors" appears offering a new sound that blends heavy rock with experimental touches; in moments the music cannot be truly perceived because the vocals sound too loud, but at the same time, the vocals cannot be truly perceived because the music is too loud, hope you get me. "House of Harbors: The Finish Games" is a short but crazy track, it is like a soundtrack of Need for Speed or even of King of Fighters, I imagine that vertigo of running, but here I am not running, I am just listening.

"No Midas Touching" is a soft but somber short track in which far voices can be heard while acoustic guitar is playing some strings. "AP0: Cartridge Entry (The Light that comes at Night)" has an addictive rhythm, repetitive voices saying the name of the song over and over, while keyboards and electronics make some kind of dark nuances. "AP1: American Psydeschroller (Title Screen)" reminds me again of some NES video games, honestly some of the tracks here might perfectly work for videogame stages, this is one of them. "AP2: Birds Dropping En Masse (Poultry in Motion) is a really short track with a nervous atmosphere, plagued by Pseudo/Sentai's vocals.

"Meanwhile?The Vanishing Act" surprises us with a short instrumental passage, very soft and delicious led by acoustic guitar. But "AP3: Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost (Or is it the curse of the creature? Or the curse of the Ghost? Or did the creature put a curse in the Ghost?) Well, the title says it all. After several 1 minute tracks here the band offers a 3- minute track, which means several changes, nuances, textures and atmospheres can be found here. The vocals are always energetic; keyboards put its humoristic but at the same time creepy sound, while programmed drums are a highlight here. "AP4: Ghostman (Boss Battle) has a sympathetic touch created by keyboards, but a minute later the battle really begins, the music becomes heavier and powerful, cool. "AP5: Victory Over Ghostman (Mass Exodusocrism)" Has the same style as its predecessor, at least in the first seconds, later it changes, vocals are ideal to sing, so if you know the lyrics, just do it. "AP6: Game Over (Cartridge Exit)" is like "stage cleared/you saved the princess/ you finished with the scary monsters and super creeps" a nice way to finish this series of AP tracks.

"Heaven is a Medicine" is a very cool 2-minute electronic track, instrumental and very interesting actually. It leads to "Pyro Cyclone Dances the Weathervane Waltz" is the second longest track here, passing the 4 minute mark. Here the explosive side of Pseudo/Sentai returns, the music has different nuances, it changes in mood and tempo, creating diverse figures and stories in one's mind. The voices are full of rage and energy, though the music has its gentle side after all. Here the guitar leads more than other tracks, which makes the music heavier, rockier.

The last bunch has 4 short songs. "Crossing the Rube Icon" has piano on it, a much more classical track with a somber touch. "Sensory Overlord" is an electronic-oriented track with some far voices. "The Loracle's Mend" produces a drastic change once again, here the sound is soft, with mother nature sounds and even a lullaby-like mood. The last song is "There will always be a [%*!#]ing problem" which ends the album in a chaotic way, summing up what Pseudo/Sentai's music is about.

I am happy with this band, and though they are not that typical progressive rock band, I am sure some of you will find their music interesting, so I invite you to dig them and have a good time. My final grade will be 4 stars due to its original sound and creativity.

Enjoy it!

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 MonstHER (Attack of the 50 Foot Actress) by PSEUDO/SENTAI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.05 | 3 ratings

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MonstHER (Attack of the 50 Foot Actress)
Pseudo/Sentai Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A new single!

This is one of those cool, original but strange projects that I have recently discovered, one has to listen to only one or two songs to know what I am talking about, and this time is not the exception. Pseudo/Sentai just released a few days ago a song entitled "Monsther (Attack of the 50 foot actress)", whose 5-minute length let us know they are a very creative band.

Here you will listen to a kind of terror-esque sound but with an inherent humoristic touch; the vocals are cool, while the music is experimental but may have a slice of zeuhl (for those prog rock purists). I like the sound of a crazy guitar as background while the rhythm is nicely done by keyboards. What I like of the track is that it maintains you interested until its very end, although I must say the sound might be catchy, easy to dig. So dig it! Go to their bandcamp page, you will find interesting stuff. My final grade, 2 stars, but the grade does not really matter.

Enjoy it!

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