Odd Senses

I’ve discovered that there is a big difference between listening to Psyopus’ Odd Senses with a clear mind (yesterday) and in a hung over state (this morning). The latter is not recommended for those trying get their proverbial shit together after a night spent drowning in Crown Royal, vodka, and beer.In any case, I must say that I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed Odd Senses, considering that over-the-top tech-metal madness is not always my cup of java. Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t often listen to the style that Odd Senses struck me as so refreshing. It is more likely that the album’s schizoid technical approach is somehow more workable than the average band of this ilk because of arrangements that are not only varied and interesting, but also just plain cool. That and the fact that Psyopus brings a whole lot of sonic terror to the table make Odd Senses just as tough as it is complex.

As for the players involved, guitarist Chris Arp is a mad fret scientist, playing backwards, forwards, sideways, and diagonally, seemingly all at once, while partners in musical psychosis Mike Horn (bass) and Jason Bauers (drums) contribute equally in development of the whirlwind. Vocalist Brian Woodruff offers maniacal pleasing screams, shouts, and brutal growls.

Technical yes, but also as ferocious as top flight grindcore and coming with a surprising degree of personality from one track to the next. Segments of “The Burning Halo” feature down-tuned pummel that is as ironclad as the heaviest deathcore, while little touches like the disturbing woman-in-distress sample on “Duct Tape Smile” (great title, by the way) makes you feel just a tad uncomfortable. There are moments during “X and Y” that come off like a methamphetamine-fueled Primus. But it is on songs like “Boogeyman,” “Choker Chain,” and “A Murder to Child” that Psyopus’ creativity pays dividends. “Boogeyman” features electronically pieced together words from multiple voices that form complete sentences, which is quite effective. After the backwards loop trip of “Imogen’s Puzzle Pt. 3,” the sample of what may be an emotionally mind-fucked girlfriend repeating lines like “Do you love me?” and “I miss you” amidst the general chaos and brutality is delightfully creepy. The clean picking and string instrumentation (violins, etc) heard on “A Murder to Child” comes straight out of left field and is actually quite classy, at least compared to the terrorism of the preceding cuts. The 20-minute hidden track of absurdist comedy, nut-job samples, and jam sessions seems par for the course, but basically unnecessary. Just end the album for Christ’s sake! Why the need to throw on all the extra crap at the end?

So there you have it. Psyopus’ Odd Senses may even get an honorable mention on my year-end list. Even those without an inkling of musical ability may find merit here, which is kind of the point of making an album with the hope of reaching an audience outside of the band membership. Plus, anything that is sure to piss off at least a few people is ok in my book. I’m probably too dehydrated to listen to this one again this morning though. Must find water.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
April 14th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I just cant get into these guys. And that last hidden track is up there with Dance Club Massacre’s “99 Bottles of Beer on the wall” for most useless and idiotic hidden tracks ive heard recently

  2. Commented by: dr_neo_cortex

    I can’t really get into these guys either. I liked some of Ideas of Reference but the last one didn’t do too much for me, so I doubt this will either. Its technically astounding of course but it just gets annoying after a while. Which is a shame cause some of the original members went to my high school, and I can’t support this.

  3. Commented by: Dan

    Not my thing, but they sure are talented. Chris Arp shreds like a Looney Toon.

  4. Commented by: Storm King

    I normally love extremely technical music, but Psyopus has always come off as a band that shouts “Look at us, we’re technical and clever!” and never bothered actually, you know, writing SONGS. The song with the samples of the girl made me want to throw things. Talented guys, yes, but they could use a dose of the old restraint.

  5. Commented by: Vinny

    Psyopus always pushes their music to the limit because they want to push it to the limit. Restraint is just not in their formula. You either get it or you don’t. That’s why I love them. Plus watching them pull all this stuff off love is jaw-dropping.

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