Review Summary: Ultimately, "Odd Senses" is a great EP disguised as an uneven full-length album.
Perhaps the only constant throughout PsyOpus' 7 year existence is the bands ability to shred the listener's face off. With each album the listener is guaranteed a new reason to spend countless hours learning how the hell these guys pull this stuff off. 2004's "Ideas Of Reference" was an impressive but uneven debut. Follow up "Our Puzzling Encounters Considered" was more of the same except for the 2 stunning instrumental tracks, "Imogen's Puzzle, Pt. 2" and "Siobhan's Song". This brings us to PsyOpus' 3rd full length, the aptly titled "Odd Senses". Although there is a lot of filler on this album, there are also some fairly decent songs hidden in between.
First off, lets get the filler out of the way. ".44", "Imogen's Puzzle, Pt. 3", "Choker Chain", and the completely unnecessary hidden track really prevent this album from being anything spectacular. "Imogen's Puzzle, Pt. 3" in particular was a huge letdown, considering how amazing parts 1 and (especially) 2 are. Also, when the hell are these guys going to learn that adding an extra 20 minute "hidden" track destroys the momentum of an album. All of their albums end with irritating and ambiguous "songs" that ruin any sort of replay value that their CDs might have.
Moving away from the negative, let's focus on the positive. "Medusa", "The Burning Halo", and "Duct Tape Smile" create the perfect trio of crushing avant-grind that fans of PsyOpus long for. "The Burning Halo", chosen as the albums single, is easily one of the best PsyOpus songs ever. The albums most interesting moments come at the end with the tracks "Ms. Shyflower" and "A Murder To Child". "Ms. Shyflower" finds the band slowing down the tempo to impressive results. Meanwhile, "A Murder To Child" is a 9 minute classical-jazz instrumental song that is equally impressive.
"Odd Senses", in typical PsyOpus fashion, is all over the place. However, the good does outweigh the bad making this album worthwhile. I would suggest downloading only the aforementioned good songs and avoiding all the filler to maximize this albums enjoyment. Until PsyOpus can learn to weed out the filler and stick with writing memorable songs, they will continue to make the same album over and over. They certainly don't have to rid their music of its technical complexities, but they just have to make these complexities approachable. (For a good example of this, check out Obscura's amazing "Cosmogenesis" album.) "Odd Senses" is really a great EP disguised as a full length album.
2. The Burning Halo
3. Duct Tape Smile
4. Ms. Shyflower
5. A Murder To Child
Songs such as "X and Y" and "Boogeyman" are definitely love-it-or-hate-it type tracks. If you enjoy technicality for the sake of technicality in your music, then definitely check out these songs. However if you like interesting songwriting, I would avoid them.