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Pseudo/Sentai - Bansheeface CD (album) cover

BANSHEEFACE

Pseudo/Sentai

 

Crossover Prog

4.02 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars PSEUDO / SENTAI is a unique musical entity indeed that is a bit baffling. The partners in crime Greg Murphy and Scott Baker have been conjuring up their own eccentric and eclectic genre bending musical weirdness since their formation in 2007 but only continues to up the sophistication of their approach to their semi-poppy, semi-proggy, always intriguing brew of musical madness. If i didn't know better i'd swear they are a more whacked out version of Muse, well maybe i don't know better and that's what they are, but one thing's for sure: these guys wanna do things their own way and for that, i salute them! BTW, this album is available free of charge so please take the time to indulge your audio frequency appreciations and enjoy it for it is a pleasing product of profound profundity that is fairly easy on the ears to boot.

BANSHEEFACE is their third overall full release and what started out intended to be their first five song EP evolved into a major concept album that took 5, yes FIVE years to finish. As with many prog artists, it's easier to visualize and conceive rather than create so the old adage that a great album is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration seems to be the case with BANSHEEFACE. As the ideas kept flowing so did the plot and ideas that poured through the fecund minds of these guys. Fast forward to 2015 and lo and behold - BANSHEEFACE is finally released! And it's wild. It's weird! And filled to the brim with all kinds of references to all kinds of creatures of their imaginary unknown world. There are three races: humans, likho and selkies and then there is a whole script of characters. It seems PSEUDO / SENTAI has gone all "Tales From Topographic Oceans" on us with ridiculous amounts of detail, but please take a deep breath and be assured that the focus of this detail isn't in sprawling epic musical movements. It resides in the storyline and the music itself, while very eclectic, is still quite easy on the ears and to grasp. The album is only 44:05 long so don't expect a triple album or anything that takes years to comprehend, however with a concept like the one on board here, perhaps it could warrant a multi-album time length.

Quantum Cardboard (1:53) is the opener and begins with helicopter sounds and quickly becomes a spastic bouncy electronica beat with some accompanying keyboards that build up intensity. This sets up a meteor landing on Earth and negotiations with The Loricle on how to retrieve it. There are no lyrics so you have to read the story to have any clue about the meaning whatsoever. Luckily you can totally ignore the story at first and just listen to the music.

Sleeping Closer to the Ground (3:41) begins with more strange electronic effects but then becomes a guitar driven rocker with lyrics and tells the story beginning with the funeral of BansheeFace, 33 years after she came from the underground worlds. It continues the story about her. Turns out she has goo that makes a clear shell around her. Whoah! Goo!

Terraformed Transcendence (4:26) is an indie rock sounding acoustic guitar rocker with keyboards and slightly off vocals that picks up intensity. This tells of Bansheeface's rise to power and how she used her powers to to so and all the escapades that ensued. Trying not to give away too much because there's too much to go into!

Immaculation (2:59) sounds a bit like a Daevid Allen rant on a Red Hot Chili Peppers album with a funky rapped type vocal style and lots of strange musical sounds coming from guitars and keyboards all dressed up in a proggy veneer with nice time sigs and a strange melodic development. This track gets into how the Bansheeface built the Holy Matmorphacity and the growth over the next 30 years and how the future technology allowed everything to be free and also about how she plants bombs under the cities to immaculate humankind.

Bansheeface (5:42) begins with some voices and then a nice hard rockin' guitar riff and drums. More hard sounding than other tracks. This track is about the Likho and how they destroyed many villages and how new technology has destroyed natural sun protection. It also continues the story about how the Likho were trying to assassinate the Bansheeface.

Trap of Assassination (1:27) is a short little oddly timed acoustic guitar track with fast percussion. Love the dynamics between the two. It changes into sounds that imitate bombs and gunshots. It ends sounding quite violent.

Black Matter of Machinations (4:05) is a more subdued almost ballad sounding track but still in an off kilter timing and symphonic sounding. The drums sounds a little too harsh for this track as it The Loricle doubts if murdering the Bansheeface was the thing to do. It's basically a contemplative track asking all the questions about The Bansheeface as there are many uncertainties.

Sleeping Closer (1:37) a strange noisy electronic number with female vocals at the beginning. Sounds like radio static and a swarm of angry hornets which represents a flashback to the funeral.

The Holy Metamorphacity (6:13) is a classic sounding prog rocker with heavy guitars, bass and drums. The vocals are quite nice on this as there are some good vox box workouts. This one goes into the soap opera of how the Selkies believe that the humans assassinated the Bansheeface and how all the politics involved have led to the start of a war.

A Taste of Endangered (1:25) is another short electronically led ditty that has some breathing as a rhythm and then breaks into a vocal section with good harmonies. This is Lution narrating the diminishing quality of relations between Selkies and humans and tries to resolve them through diplomacy.

Classic Tactics of Xenocide (4:12) starts off with eerie keyboards and crunchy guitars. This one reminds me of something Muse might conjure up but definitely sounds unique in approach. It breaks into a heavier rocker and tells about how the Selkies have been destroying the humans.

March of the Selkies (3:49) is another heavy rocker with cool time sig changes and simulates a Lord Of The Ring style Two Towers battle and all the havoc that ensues. As the humans battle the Selkies at the last major stronghold, they are utterly defeated. Nice guitar solo on this one!

Mound of Seed, Seed of Earth (2:36) is an energetic anthemic type outré that tells about how the famous mound is now in the shape of a tree and the album ends with the same rhythmic march as the album begins. There is a bit of silence before an acoustic guitar comes from nowhere at the end and strums chords for a while which fades out.

Let it be known, i never would have figured out this story without the tutorial attached or the help of Greg Murphy himself and to be honest, i still don't get it all! While i love the music on board here i think this is far too ambitious of a story to stuff into forty some minutes! I understand that these guys wanted to get this out and be done with it and not sit on it for decades but the whole concept seems like a mini-series like Battlestar Galactica or something! So i can't say the story is the driving force to listen to this one for me but it's still a rather nicely packed bonus heaped upon a musical delivery itself stuffed with all kinds of delicious progginess. The rhythms and interludes are all nicely dispersed and the whole album no matter how short does echo an epic type of feel to it. While it does seem like there could have more sound dynamics and more clear cut delineations between characters, it is a fun listen nonetheless considering and even though it sounds like it's a homemade production it had some collaborators with Colin Marston and Jeff Eber from Dysrhythmia lending a hand. Overall kind of an opera for hyperactive eclectic types. Nice!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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