Having been intrigued by and thoroughly enjoying a couple of their early tracks maybe around two years ago, enough to feature them on The Bone Orchard podcast, we have been waiting for UK rock band PseudoNympho to realise the open promise and potential they offered back then. Well the release of their debut album Eponym certainly graces the hopes and expectations suggested and then steps well beyond their limits and the fact that the thirteen track album still provides the feeling the band is only part through the destination to their ultimate sound makes it and the future all the more exciting.
Eponym is an intensive and inventive beast of a release, a deeply thoughtful, musically and lyrically, journey which asks for maybe extra involvement and time from the listener than many others but offers challenges which only bring the strongest rewards. There are times where, especially with some of its ambience woven brief pieces of composition, that it loses the less able mental interpretation of this reviewer but it immediately pulls one back on course with music and imagination that simply fires up senses and passions. Combining furies bred from the likes of hard rock, progressive metal, grunge and much more, the album is an enthralling confrontation for mind and emotions that places the band as one of the most potent and promising heavy rock bands in the UK.
Hailing from Leeds and consisting of vocalist/guitarist Wolfgang C. Bailey, lead guitarist Ben Marsden, bassist/vocalist Rio Goldhammer, rhythms guitarist Sam Evans, and drummer Don Demrow, PseudoNympho open up their Bunnysnot Records released album with the brief instrumental Apotheosis. A rhythmic web within an industrially sculpted disturbed ambience, it is a provocative opening which still does not give a solid clue to what is ahead except to indicate it will be intensive. What emerges with second track Accident Of Birth is a tempest of magnetic imagination and towering sound. The start of the song gently weaves a sonic mist upon the ear, guitar and keys combining to paint an evocative sense veined by the great rhythmic persuasion of Demrow. There is a Sicilian (the best way to describe it) air to its beckoning which acts like a magnet, holding attention tight for the impending spiral of hungry beats and flaming grooves to entice further the now mighty call of the song. The strong vocals of Bailey expressively fire the lyrical narrative onto the now intensive heart of the enterprising storm brewing whilst guitars scorch the erupting energy with sonic coals of exploratory craft and heat. Dramatic and powerful, it is an immense full start to the album and evidence of how far the band has matured and come.
The following Pathetic Island Fallacy is equally as impacting, though this time it cages the appetite in a mesh of feisty rock ‘n’ roll with wanton tendencies and hook lined infectiousness lining against a more serious dark heavy metal incitement straight away. It probably does not quite match the heights of its predecessor but more than captivates full attention and satisfaction its way with skill and clear enterprise. It is followed by the short mystery of Zaphod Beeblebrox’s Morbid Prophecy, a track which intimidates and distorts thoughts as part of the overall narrative of the album. It did leave an unsure conclusion about its offering but the fun interpreting these moments is all part of the fullness of the release.
Both the caustically touching rock expanses of Sunshine And Lollipops and the excellent Buried Alive with its rapacious assault on the senses and destructive breath leave a wealth of pleasure and uncompromising impact. The second song a finely tuned brawl of predacious metal protestation and equally rabid hard rock boisterousness all shaped by a fluid and well defined merger of ideas and passion drenched energy. There is a schizophrenic air to its course too, especially in its near bedlamic climax which only reinforces its might and ingenuity, if also becoming probably a menace too far for some.
The punk /funk treat Lunch is a passing blur of dark and light, anger and peace, which sets up the melodic fire pit Big Enough For Rehab, its blues driven solos and guitar flames the skin on a heavy rock body that drives straight to the primal rock ‘n’ roll hunger waiting eagerly inside. This is then followed by the ok instrumental The Air Is Thick With A Palpable Miasma Of Willful Ignorance, another apocalyptic/industrial suggestion which inspires numerous ideas though maybe not related to the intent of the band. That is the purpose though and no matter thoughts on the presence of these pieces they do leave the listener active in finding their intent.
The excellent more grungier rock of Matryoshka with a Stone Sour spice to its temptation, provides the next highlight well into the depth of the album whilst both Educate Yourself and the closing Ugly Inside leaves Eponym a lingering presence in thoughts and emotions. Certainly there are moments across the album which raise questions and inspire talk of undiscovered promise which the band could of and will explore ahead, but it is a striking and rousing release which marks PseudoNympho as a band with a massive future.
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