Interviewing Psychic Paramount guitarist Drew St. Ivany a few years ago, he stressed innumerable times that the power trio’s blistering take on rock argued against pragmatism. So that means, in wading through this arduous two-disc set of noodle-y four-track recordings, one shouldn’t listen to, say, “Solo Electric Guitar with Pre-Recorded Drums” and mistake it for just that. And yet, while the track echoes Robert Fripp warming up for his “No Pussyfooting” solo, even philosopher William James would empirically state that the canned beat is corny.
The philosophy here seems to be, why emphasize the band’s Lost Ark face-melting ferocity when instead, to paraphrase St. Ivany, Origins and Primitives can explore the unconscious? It may be part of the band’s oft-stated intent of ‘Bewilderment and Illumination,’ as the packaging references Aleister Crowley’s leaps between ? and ! epiphanies and observes that “most girls really like to fuck.” How chicks stay awake for these loopy zone-outs is beyond me, though. When “The Eye Glass/Sex Operation” has its distortion ebb into the sound of an Econoline van’s windshield wipers and “door ajar” chime, the question simply becomes, “Why?”
Psychic Paramount play the Cake Shop February 15, cake-shop.com
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 6, 2007