Puscifer – Donkey Punch the Night EP

February 19th, 2013
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Puscifer-Donkey-Punch-the-Night-EP

Using the Entire Toolbox

There is an art to parody, just as there is danger in taking oneself too seriously. Tool’s Maynard James Keenan understands this. Although side project Puscifer may have started out as a joke, it has become a repository for a level of experimentation that can only be attempted outside the confines of Keenan’s main band. Album titles like 2007’s “V” is for Vagina deceive, and the music is surprising with its complexity and innovation. The band’s latest EP, Donkey Punch the Night, combines these cerebral elements with familiar tones, and also offers a glimpse into the production process.

Seeing that Donkey Punch the Night begins with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the expectation would be a torn-apart, stylized version. But the most shocking thing of all is that it is a straight-forward, as if Keenen’s goal was to show, number one, that it is simply a great song; and number two, that reproducing it faithfully is an accomplishment unto itself. Lest fans be disappointed, Keenan does completely reimagine Accept’s 1984 classic, “Balls to the Wall,” though his version reveals the flaws in the original.

In between these two covers are a pair of originals: “Breathe,” a moody, slow, demonic piece that builds upon itself until it reaches its hypnotic end; and “Dear Brother,” which is the most successful offering on Donkey Punch the Night. The beat is creative, the music is well-orchestrated, but the lyrical delivery is reminiscent of old-timey blues, or more accurately Jack White-esque. Following these are remixes of each song, and again the “Dear Brother” Denton rework is the most interesting.

Even though Puscifer is, on the surface, a farce, the music contained within is serious, with no hints that any less care was taken in crafting these numbers than with any Tool song, and the different remixes gives listeners a “this or that” option that will leave fans debating everything but Keenan’s talent.

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By Chad Gorn Posted in Reviews , ,


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