Friday, May 25, 2012

Puscifer Conditions Of My Parole

  What is independent music?  When most people think about independent music, they get it mixed up with ‘Indie’ music, bringing up images of hipsters throwing money on anything they think is cool for the minute, joining causes because they’re currently popular and doing almost anything ‘ironically’.  ‘Indie’ music originally started out with the idea that a major label wasn’t needed to put out music, but the term became commonplace and people flocked by the thousands to grab onto this fad, making the ‘indie’ labels powerhouses in themselves and suddenly they are as corporate and sell-out as the mainstream bands they so desperately wanted to not be like.
Dear reader, this is not a soap box to complain about ‘indie’ music, it is instead, what it always is and that is an album review.  However it was first necessary to distinguish what ‘indie’ music is, because true independent music is definitely not described by what is written above.
What happens when you take a group of musicians who are like minded in wanting to present a project centering around music, theater, discussion, art and most importantly, comedy, get together one simple task of simply creating for the fun and challenge of it?  You have Pusifer.  Puscifer is the brain child of Maynard James Keenan of the metal band Tool.  If you round out the lineup with several musicians from his other side project, A Perfect Circle’ and add a second vocalist in the form of British Alt-rocker Carina Round, you have an adventure in music that simply can’t be ignored.
                The project has no label behind it and it is financed by the band.  The money they mgake on tour tickets, merchandising and wine tastings from Maynard’s own vinyards before the show, provide the finances necessary to keep Pusifer on the road and in the studio.  The album itself is as varied as the musicians ranging from rock to metal to electronic to country, but with a wit and a sarcasm that just can’t be ignored and will leave the listener rolling on the floor with laughter, screaming along lyrics with a fist in the air and in some instances, just quietly listening to the melodies. 

                Personal favorites include Green Monster, going from a delicately picked and sweetly sung ballad to a heavy rocking monster of a track that feels like it should belong in A Perfect Circle’s catalog, but of course it is also distinctly a Puscifer track by being completely like their other music and yet nothing like it at the same time.  Toma is a loud rocking track with huge drums and guitars and just demands to be played loud enough so that everyone in a 3 block radius could hear it.  The title track Conditions of My Parole tells the story of a man who killed a woman convinced she was a ‘zombie or a dracula’ and hoping against hope he doesn’t go back to jail for his actions.
                This is only the second album that Pusifer has released.  They are only able to record because of concert ticket sales, merchandise and of course album sales.  Pick this up on vinyl and CD immediately to fund the collective so they can keep doing what they do best. 

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