Music Reviews

The Psychic Paramount II

(No Quarter) Buy it from Insound Rating - 8/10

Volume is fun. Guitar squall, when done well, is great. When what’s buried underneath is complex and intriguing, it’s excellent. The Psychic Paramount comes complete with frenetic drumming, full volume guitar mini-symphonies and winding, tricky rhythmic shifts that make Porcupine Tree look like a pop-punk band.

The guitars swirl and dance, whether they’re making deafening feedback and noise or well intertwined solos. Occasionally they diverge, becoming messy and convoluted, but it’s all part of the plan. The whole band splinters apart in 4 different directions, only to reconvene with powerfully played, tight sections. The finest example of this is on DDB; the end of the song comes together as a blistering instrumental, full of crashing drums and walls of impenetrable distortion.

As entertaining as it all is, they are wise to keep the run time short. II ends just as it’s about to become tiresome. There are a few sections on a few songs that stretch on for longer than they should, but it’s a tricky spot to be in. The band is at their best when they let their creations breathe and build, and cutting them short would diminish the impact of the climax down the road. They have no choice but to keep at it, even if a particular song has worn out its welcome.

If there’s one thing that needs work, it’s pulling it all in at exactly the right moment. They often wander too long or rush to their end goal. There’s a middle ground that they have yet to find, but they’re getting close. When it all comes together at the right time it’s undeniably thrilling. The record flows together incredibly well, never losing focus, a pleasant surprise considering the wandering nature of the music. Listening to them explore their own noisy soundscapes is well worth it.