CP on Facebook


CP on Twitter
Print Email

Listening Party

The Psychic Paramount: II

Photo: , License: N/A, Created: 2010:05:10 11:25:53

The Psychic Paramount


No Quarter

The first proper studio album by New York trio the Psychic Paramount was called Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural. Wow. The second one, released recently after a nearly six-year silence, is called II. Hmm. Well, sure, it could be one of those tongue-in-cheek in-jokes about uninspired titles for follow-ups, but then you put it on. GIMS was a raging, needles-in-the-red neo-hard-psych beast, a document approximating scarcely imagined bootlegs of Black Flag doing Mahavishnu Orchestra and Steve Reich covers. Jesus Christ, what an exciting record. II, on the other hand, is a respectable album of contemporary progressive rock music by the same band.

Guitarist Drew St. Ivany returns to his obsessive clipped hummingbird strums, constructing tracks primarily out of building and ebbing repetition. Bassist Ben Armstrong once again provides stalwart bottom-end counterpoint. Drummer Jeff Conaway lays out a carpet of excitable pummel. But if GIMS seemed like a crude map of a barely explored continent of messy shred and sonic illusion, II is like an exit book: There will be variations, but no sharp turns or other surprises. “Intro/SP” starts things off at an impressively high energy level, and “N5” and “DDB” introduce an appealing shoegaze-y sound to St. Ivany’s approach. But II misses its predecessor’s explosive dynamics, the sense that anything could happen. Here the Psychic Paramount tends to settle into a groove and ride it into near tedium; for all the instrumental fury “Isolated” and “N6” work up in spots, the tracks eventually flatline thanks to too much tension and not enough release. “RW” consists largely of St. Ivany clanging a single chord for nearly seven minutes. The band still outstrips much post-whathaveyou rock of the current era, but as a listening experience, faint praise is perhaps the best II is gonna get.

  • Mobtown Moon Many of Baltimore’s most accomplished musicians collaborated on an adventurous, challenging, thrilling reinvention of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. | 4/17/2013
  • Zs Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007 Zs Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007 Northern Spy Improvisation has been the cornerstone of contemporary underground music for a decade now, maybe two, the exploratory/winging-it impulse that launched a kabillion CD-Rs and warehouse-space sets | 11/21/2012
  • Letitia VanSant A clever woman with a lot to say. | 7/11/2012
  • Wordsmith: King Noah ONCE UPON A TIME, rappers like Baltimore MC Wordsmith—labeled indie, conscious, or backpacker—dotted the mainstream hip-hop landscape like conscientious objectors, avoiding the violence, and self-hate | 6/20/2012
  • Gary B and the Notions How Do We Explode | 6/13/2012
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus