Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Weird but listenable side-project from Tool man, 19 Dec 2007
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This review is from: V Is For Vagina (Audio CD)
Prior to the release of this album, Maynard James Keenan was quoted to have said that sometimes he just wants to hear Gnarls Barkley. Hey - it's no crime, but when these words come from a man responsible for some of the most challenging, complex music and wilfully obtuse lyrics of recent years it's not surprising that a few people raised their eyebrows when they heard about the enigmatic Tool/A Perfect Circle man's latest musical venture.

Puscifer, in contrast to both of the aforementioned bands, should be considered light relief, with its abundance of sleazy references and absence of heavy guitars. There's no denying the catchiness of some these tracks, either: the twangy, countrified leanings of 'Momma Sed', for example, are coupled with a dancey beat and Keenan's unmistakable emotive croon. 'Drunk With Power', meanwhile, sees him doing a Mike Patton-esque characterisation/p*ss-take of a washed-up pimp daddy over a thick, NIN-style bass-line to great effect. Elsewhere, the influences are less apparent, but as you would perhaps expect with Keenan, it's an eclectic mix of sounds and style that makes up the majority of this album. It's whimsical and fun in places, darker and more earnest in others. Take for example, 'Sour Grapes', on which Maynard's haunting, ethereal vocals play second fiddle to the righteous words of a gospel preacher. It's surprisingly stirring stuff, the heavy sentiment of the closing refrain ("It's always gonna be sour grapes with you, boy; until you get right with Jesus") offset by the last track - a cheeky little number in which Keenan moans lasciviously that "Jesus is coming, and so am I"...

Many fans of his main band will no doubt be horrified by this, and Puscifer's appeal is unlikely to stretch beyond the "featuring the guy out of Tool" tag, which, coupled with the fact that this is released on an independent label, means that approximately 12 people will buy this. Shame.

Matt Pucci
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