Puscifer
"V" Is For Vagina


4.5
superb

Review

by Porter W. Richards USER (18 Reviews)
October 26th, 2007 | 93 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Some of the most experimental, original, strange, sexy, and dark music ever created is found right here on Puscifer's V is for Vagina.

Maynard James Keenan is somewhat of a rarity in today's rock culture. Many people consider the 'wild' rock star life dead, and while it is, Keenan has his own way of being a rock star. Maynard James Keenan has a reputation for wanting people to focus on the music, not focus on the band creating the music; often barely taking credit for his vocal performances and ideas, even going to such an extent to stand in an unlit area of the stage during a concert. When Tool released Opiate, rock music had no clue of the influence this lead singer would have on rock music today. But not only is Keenan the excellent mastermind behind Tool's multiple masterpieces like AEnima and Lateralus, he's also part of the creative geniuses of A Perfect Circle. Keenan and Danny Lohner created two masterpieces under the name A Perfect Circle, Mer de Noms and Thirteenth Step, just adding to his ever-budding rock legacy. So, when Puscifer was announced in early 2007 and announced the title of their album would be V is for Vagina, who would have expected anything different?

For all basic sense, Puscifer is a solo side project from Keenan under a pseudonym (think Nine Inch Nails). Unable to fully release his imagination in Tool and A Perfect Circle, Puscifer is the self-indulgent creative outlet for Keenan's imagination, in return forming a heavily danceable album led by industrial grooves and a largely Ministry-influenced style. Another interesting thing about Puscifer is the artwork. The artwork itself is completely indescribable and really 'off the wall'. Not that it's bad, just a bit ridiculously strange and creepy. It's just completely original music that proved that infusing industrial, dance, and R&B was easily one of Keenan's best musical endeavors. V is for Vagina is just that good of album, and makes you want to dance because the music is so enveloping. Not much music can do that nowadays, but apparently he's found a way to make you want to 'groove'.

It's not just that it's danceable, it's really, really freaking good. Dark, strangely sexual, and unlike anything else out there. From the powerful R&B beats of Queen B to Rev 22:20's dancefloor approach, it's something that could start a revolution in music today. The vocal performances are buried behind heavy beats and large amounts of deep distortion. Relaxed rhythms sooth you to sleep, only to be more lulled into deep sleep by deep 'ooohhhhh's such as in Queen B. The songs are completely varied throughout the whole album, and each have their own integrity. From the first track Queen B, Puscifer lets you know that this isn't Tool, A Perfect Circle, or for that matter ANY other experimental/industrial musical endeavor. It's so relaxing, upbeat, and interesting that you can't help but really enjoy almost every song here. You have no clue what track will play next-ever. After the heavy percussion of Queen B, DoZo pulls out the guitar and adds a strange simplistic riff to each beat, only to be spearheaded by Keenan's low, bass busting vocal experience. V is for Vagina does this for most of it's length, as if it's teasing you at each turn, letting you think you have a clue what's coming, when in fact you've really got no clue at all.

There's some really haunting anthems on this album, and overall gives an overwhelming dark feel. Trekka, a percussive track that is held together by astonishing 'war drum'- like beats and rhythms. Keenan doesn't roar at the bottom of his voice, instead he takes a whispering style reminescent of Wings for Marie from 10,000 Days. While plenty of the tracks here are plain industrial dance, there's some really heavy more traditional tracks, like The Undertaker. Driven by a guitar riff and bass beat, Keenan roars dully in a bit of a monotone vocal performance before exploding into a straight-out enjoyable (even catchy) chorus. The song definitely has a sexy vibe to it and is easily the album's most simplistic track, but definitely is still a stand out, mostly due to Keenan's roaring, echoing vocal performance.

Puscifer is more of an overall project than just an album called V is for Vagina, backed up by a clothing line developed by Puscifer's mastermind and a storyline almost as whacked out as a Tim Burton movie. The lyrics all relate to this storyline, which is too strange and out-there for me to actually follow, as I've been unable to get past the simple awesomeness of the music. Only to add to the lyrical storyline, Keenan often uses vocal performances from other musicians or people to fufill his track's vocals, or so heavily distorting his voice that it's impossible to tell it's him. The excellent percussion is a great addition, driving the album and forcing the sexual theme and underbeat into your ears. The guitars are few and far in between, but add a considerable amount of depth to the album.

After listening to V is for Vagina, you really start to think that Tool's lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, is one twisted individual, but honestly I think he's just one of the only people I know that's so bold to tell the world what his imagination creates. He creates some of the most masterfully deep, moving, danceable, and sexual music ever created with Puscifer's debut album, and really makes for a very good and different release. It's that good, and that close to perfect. Keenan has proved that his uncanny way of going about his business makes him one of the most original and odd rock stars of our current age, and definitely one of the most influential rock greats ever.

STREAM: www.myspace.com/censorshipisacancer



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user ratings (332)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
MrNic1019 (4.5)
This album shows what is possible when the right artists come together and fuse many elements from d...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MeowMeow
October 27th 2007


662 Comments


I'm not a very big fan of any of Maynard's work, but this album is fucking terrible.

MoonlightBleeding
October 27th 2007


452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know how you could think this is bad.

Willie
Moderator
October 27th 2007


16131 Comments


Are you sure 5/5 is an appropriate rating for an album that's been leaked for, what, 2 days?
My thoughts exactly... although it does sound interesting.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

artificialhigh
October 27th 2007


12 Comments


The review could use some cleaning up. Sentences such as "Refusing to take barely any credit for his vocal performances..." give impressions contrary to the ones you're trying to make.

ValiumMan
October 27th 2007


493 Comments


Yeah, it's a double negation (or whatever you call it). "Taking barely any credit etc." or "Refusing to take any credit" would be right.
This sounds like something Mike Patton would do. I consider Patton more interesting and a better vocalist than Keenan though.

gasmaskman
October 27th 2007


1006 Comments


Stream is wrong: http://www.myspace.com/censorshipisacancerThis Message Edited On 10.27.07

Jim
October 27th 2007


5110 Comments


this sounds interesting

edit: streaming now. quite surprising, yet also pretty simplistic. won't get the album.This Message Edited On 10.27.07

MoonlightBleeding
October 27th 2007


452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I did some editing on my review, taking some advice.

Sound
October 27th 2007


3904 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok review. nice you like it but this is nowhere near classic.

steveosk8s
October 27th 2007


135 Comments


its good, but its not a classic

Abaddon2005
October 27th 2007


684 Comments


This review came off way too fanboyish for me.

Cubert99
October 28th 2007


12 Comments


Hmm really not a fan of this comment:

'not only is Keenan the excellent mastermind behind Tool's multiple masterpieces like AEnima and Lateralus'

How is he the 'mastermind', exactly? hes 1 of four, and danny, adam and justin play bigger roles in creating the music. Maynard would be pretty boring if he had nothing good to sing over wouldnt he?

Case in point: V for Vagina.This Message Edited On 10.28.07

samthebassman
October 28th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This could be cool... but probably wont be.

Doppelganger
October 28th 2007


3124 Comments


Unable to fully release his imagination in Tool and A Perfect Circle, Puscifer is the self-indulgent creative outlet for Keenan's imagination

oh ok

MoonlightBleeding
October 29th 2007


452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Cubert:

Maynard writes the songs.

o_zo
October 30th 2007


3 Comments


No,he doesn't write the songs,he writes the vocals. That's what cubert was saying.

maneva
October 30th 2007


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i love tool and all, and think this is a pretty cool album, but a rating of 5 is way too high. no way this is a classic, it's just a cool side project.

and it does seem like something mike patton would do. kind of like maynard's peeping tom, if you will.

astrel
October 30th 2007


2614 Comments


Mike Patton has done something like this. It is one of Dan the Automator's projects, Lovage.

LearntoSwim
November 1st 2007


68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album definitely resembles APCs 'emotive' and you can definitely see the progression in maynard from there. while i wouldnt go as far as to say its a 'classic,' those of you who are hating it havent given it more than a once over. almost anything maynards involved in, as is the case with patton, needs some absorbtion time alotted. just step back and listen again.

rasputin
November 2nd 2007


14555 Comments


I had a listen and this is a very different album than what I'd normally listen to. It's quite engrossing though, and I like how atmospheric MJK has made it. Definetly not a 5 though.



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