For as big a Tool and A Perfect Circle fan as I am, I just could not enjoy Puscifer’s V Is For Vagina. As a matter of fact, I flat out couldn’t stand it. So, when Conditions Of My Parole was announced, I met the news with a healthy dose of skepticism and, I’ll admit it, scorn. My interest became piqued when Maynard described it as “Twin Peaks in the desert”. Well, I just so happen to love Twin Peaks, so I found myself becoming more and more curious about the album. When Man Overboard came out, I couldn’t believe it. What a great song! I loved the feel, the atmosphere, the flow, the whole damn thing! Why, with this song, the whole album has to be just as good…right? Check after the jump for my answer.
The album starts with Tiny Monsters, a track that opens up with 70’s synths that were very reminiscent of Goblin’s Dawn Of The Dead soundtrack. When Maynard’s vocals come in, the melody is surprisingly soothing and, dare I say, happy. The bass guitar comes in with crystalline clarity followed by sparse drums, both analog and electronic. The song is a subtly eerie but beautiful introduction to an astonishing album.
The production is a fantastic mixture of pristine electronics and wonderfully raw acoustic instruments. While this mixture can very easily fail with spectacular results, Conditions Of My Parole has navigated a very fine line and come to the finish line with an album that is an utter joy to listen to. It also needs to be mentioned that having female vocals harmonize alongside Maynard creates an ethereal aura that is almost physically palpable.
I’m going to let you know this right now: you need to listen to this album in one sitting. Sure you can enjoy the songs on their own with great relish. However, there is something about listening to the album in one go that has the songs building upon each other, layering each other, creating a musical journey that is undeniably altering.
The Final Word: What I was expecting and what I was hoping could not have been more different. I expected to be disappointed although I hoped for some engaging tracks. What I experienced is an album that astonished me and had me begging to hear it over and over again. Puscifer’s Conditions Of My Parole is an album that should become one of the few timeless classics that defines an artist.
Check out: Horizons, Monsoons, and Tumbleweed for the more mellow tracks while The Rapture (Fear Is A Mind Killa Mix) and Toma have a bit of a heavier edge to them.