Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blog Hiatus

The Wildebeest Asylum will be quiet for the month of February, on account of me taking another crack at FAWM. Here's hoping I'm more successful than I was last time...

Mind you, I do really want to write a post about seeing Nightwish...

Friday, February 01, 2008


Puscifer - 'V' is for Vagina

My expectations for Puscifer, the solo project of Maynard from Tool, were uncharitably low. The juvenile (but amusing) teaser track 'Cuntry Boner' along with Maynard's sarcastic larking during 'V' is for Vagina's prerelease promotion led me to expect that it would be a lame joke album, but I should have given him a bit more credit. After all, the first Puscifer track released ('Rev 22:20' off the Underworld soundtrack) is pretty damn good, and as it turns out the album is far more of a likeness to that song than to 'Cuntry Boner'.

There's a good roster of random guest musicians to be found on 'V' is for Vagina, including Danny Lohner (formally of Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle) and the rhythm section of Rage Against the Machine. The guest with the most obvious influence is dark ambient dude Lustmord, whose menacing, deep, post industrial sound leaves its greasy fingerprints all over the album. Lead single 'Queen B' is representative of 'V' is for Vagina; Maynard puts on his deepest, sexiest voice and croons over a dark, dirty rhythm section, supplemented by industrial electronics. Somewhat surprisingly the tone of the music has much more in common with the likes of (post-)industrial bands like Tweaker or Recoil than with Tool. The lyrics too are not of the same weighty substance as those of Tool or even A Perfect Circle, and instead we get simple, repetitive catch phrases, more suitable for the simpler electronic style of the music. I suspect that part of Maynard's motivation for this project was to take a break from the seriousness and complexity of Tool.

A few more random notes. The cover art is as stupid and goofy as 'Cuntry Boner', but still worth a laugh. I don't like the new version of 'Rev 22:20' included at the end of the album nearly as much as the original, and I think that 'Sour Grapes' would have been a much better album closer. Speaking of which, here's another song who's impassioned end refrain, “It'll always be sour grapes with you boy, until you get right with-a JEEEEEEEEEEEEEESUS!” will add further fuel to the speculation about Maynard's relationship with everyone's least favourite fictional messiah.

Overall 'V' is for Vagina is a most pleasant surprise. Now lets have a new Tool album, or at least another Australasian tour.

Here's the poorly animated video for 'Queen B'.

And for completeness, and because it's funny, here's 'Cuntry Boner':