Review Summary: The Psychic Paramount takes you to a trip in a unique sense of what is psychedelic, rock and ambient, in a very noisy and charming way.
Imagine a noisy storm that suddenly comes from nowhere hitting you by the both sides of your head, by the moment you can think the noise is somewhat hurting your ears, them with surprise and a feeling of strange and relaxing numbness, you now see that you're actually flying over an ocean of never stopping walls of sound and that makes you comfortable about the noise nature of all that's around you. That's what I felt when I pressed play for the first time to listen this album by The Psychic Paramount.
II, their somewhat obvious named second album, brings a mixture of psychedelic rock with very well set of textures above textures of noisy guitar riffs, weird soundscapes and crazy sounds, sometimes just bringing color to all the paraphernalia that's happening and in others doing a dense sense of atmosphere. The drummer here is just insane, playing all his set in a way that sometimes remember some crazy drum work done by The Mars Volta in their most crazy moments.
However we're not talking about an easy listening psychedelic rock act here, it's a totally instrumental album with several feeling changes, they go from really noise rock parts to very ambient and atmospheric in others and suddenly they're making a truly psychedelic jam with all the visions and images you can visualize depending on how closed are your eyes and how open are you ears.
This album works really better with the tracks in relation to each other and I think the best way to listen to it is jut sit down and open your head away, but for review purposes, I can sketch some focal points of different tracks that can show the diversity on 'II'. In the first two songs, 'Intro/SP' and 'DDB' all the elements I pointed before are present, the very singular feel of ambiance this album has and its omnipresent heaviness too (perhaps this paradox is in the center of why I like this so much) but what I most identify here is the feel of a psychedelic vibe going on, maybe I listened to this too much, but I can even hear a little of The Doors stuck in the middle of the thing. 'DDB' has very noisy moments and there's much energy going on here, this being the more rock and roll oriented track, and somewhat maybe the most experimental one.
Another aspect I want to note is that the sound is very loud and noisy, and even being this way, you can hear little details of the drum work and the bass is very present, I think this is a high point of the album production, very crystalline. I know I'm talking about noisy music, but what we got here is almost classy noise.
'RW' is the lowest track on the album and it doesn't take off its tense atmosphere, it goes progressing with a guitar riff and with pounding drums that goes all the way till the song ends, even this being the calmest song in the album I can say that this is the less ambient one. A very cool song anyway. 'N5' by its time, brings a cool rhythm breaking loose and has an outgoing ambient part, even becoming a little relaxing, it's less explosive than the rest, what is good so you can rock all around without having a headache. 'N6', however, bring it to a closest to metal influence, this song has really heavy moments, sounding a little like Lightning Bolt in some riffs. Them we came to 'Isolated', a track that I can say that makes me feel a little numb, it has a drum work that fits together an amalgam of drone sounding guitar and an almost groovy bass, it's very cool and less varied than the rest, but the reason is it has to keep the drone feeling and it really does, it has a blur feel, like if the song is going away behind the rhythm section of the band.
The last track, 'N5 coda', really remember me some King Crimson tracks of the late Adrian Belew phase, especially on THRAK. This is a cool song with a very nice bass line, but I think it's somewhat the less unique song on the album, it's really intense sound, but I don't know, for a band that has made a very dense and creative work in making ambiance, this last one doesn't sound that singular. It's not bad at all anyway. The song ends suddenly given the impression that the noisy storm has gone away for nothing, just as it had already reached your ears.
Well, as I said, this is an album that work a lot better if listened complete for once losing yourself in where the tracks begin and end, and lets get realistic, those song names don't really help to figure out what is all about. It's not an easy listening experience, actually it's pretty hard to got into if you're not in the right mood, but with a little open mind experience you can really enjoy this. I have to recommend it to anyone who dig noise rock and psychedelic, and as strange as it can sound, to people who like a little of experimentation in the ambient thing, leading it more to a tripping feel than about the usual ambient relaxing stuff.