Album Reviews

Album Review: Puscifer – Donkey Punch the Night EP

on February 17, 2013, 11:59pm
puscifer D
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Very few actions handicap a release like an uninspired cover; nevertheless, noted frontman Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) felt compelled to cover Queen’s epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” on the seven-track Donkey Punch the Night EP, the newest release from his passion project Puscifer. Keenen and co.’s rendition of the Queen classic isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, it’s adequate when compared to the road-ravaged cover bands that rehash the song nightly at your local hotel lounge. The collective, including Jeff Friedl (drums), Matt McJunkins (bass), Mat Mitchell (guitar), and Josh Eustis (keys), took a more artistic approach when attacking “Balls to the Wall”, trading the original’s massive metal riffs and soaring lyricism for Keenan’s signature anguish-soaked, half-spoken vocals and post-industrial bass-led instrumentation.

Keenan’s time spent in the Arizona desert played a major role in the creation of the EP’s originals, “Breathe” and “Dear Brother”. Unlike the percussive-heavy arrangements of his earlier projects, these new works are based in the arid environment of America’s Southwest. On “Breathe” the sensual duet between Keenan and Carina Round wafts across the track’s distorted bass line like a creeping sandstorm, eventually giving way to the funky drum rhythms and outlaw-rock guitar chords of “Dear Brother”.

For all those still in shock that Tool doesn’t plan on a 2013 release, the Drumcell industrial rework of “Breathe” offers a small glimpse into what may be possible on that outfit’s next effort.

Due to the reliance on covers and genre-bending remixes, Donkey Punch the Night doesn’t arrive with the same comedic post-rock energy of Puscifer’s previous LPs. But it definitely isn’t as embarrassing as wrecking a Vespa.

Essential Tracks: “Dear Brother”, “Breathe (Drumcell Rework)”

 

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