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Pseudo/Sentai - There's Always a Fucking Problem CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.90 | 12 ratings

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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 fucking 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!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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