The Psychic Paramount Live 2002 The Franco-Italian Tour

[Public Guilt; 2006]

Rating: 5/5

Why is this a perfect record? Because it's an infinite, sweaty, and filthy mess
is why. Ever see or hear a great live performance and then hear the same
material given the studio treatment and felt like something's missing? Well,
this is the first Psychic Paramount I ever heard (this disc is actually a
repressing), and I can safely say: great
band, but you HAVE TO buy them live. That's right, this is a gun. So's this
album. Blow your own brains out, kid. Fuse them back together with modeling clay
and toothpicks and jam it all back in the skull. Dig on the rest of the CD. Let
it dig on you. All kindsa dirt-rain goin on here. Unevenly sized dirt-rain.
Sideways dirt-rain. Even dirt-rain that seems to come straight up under the neath!

Spiky and chaotic, this is one of the best rock albums ever, because it takes all
of the imagination and piqued rock-out savvy of previous band Laddio Bolocko,
throws it at a roaring jet turbine, and everybody gets good and hurt. Everybody
loses an eye. Some of this material is also on the group's debut album,
Gamelan into The Mink Supernatural
, which - I was surprised to hear - still
retains that spiking-in-the-red sound quality (or maybe I just don't have a
powerful enough stereo). So which do you buy? I'd suggest this one. It's
decidedly more of a ragin' off-road experience, though both will equally
steam-press your face flush to the back of your head -- no bs. Both releases
sound as if someone was in a big hurry to hit the record button and to engineer
it could only slowfade the shit in and out. Both releases feel like some
massive, innate rock energy just barely contained by the wincing nearby mic
sensors. The Franco-Italian Tour is a freak force of nature, even at its
mathiest. The "Perpignan Pt. Two" half of the fourth track is a punchy good
example of this side. Expanded for the title track of the studio album, the song
works like a wall-pressed breaking news bulletin on TV. Only the stabbing alert
trills just keep drowning out the actual report (I picture those blocky Wonder
Showzen anchormen with all the twitching gauges on them).

Can't pretend to have the key to perfection. Don't really need to. Psychic
Paramount's got the powder keg to blow that particular fortress wide open. Maybe
the perfection within will be obliterated -- or half-obliterated -- but we'll
get the general idea. Perhaps perfect is never making the listener question what
it is they're listening to. Perfect is putting out two albums of roughly the
same material, because these feel more like super high-pressured combustions than
compositions. It's immediate and miraculous rock that doesn't say: wait'll
you see what we got next. Instead this is the best parts of the most raucous
rock anthems charging into the face of a tornado. But maybe The Paramount
have something better down the line. It makes no difference to me.
They've come out of the gates at what I assume to be the very top of their game.
Come into close, combustible (i.e.-loud) contact with this stuff and you'll be
as ready to jump out of your skin with excitement as I am. (Don't get too cozy
in the silence between tracks four and five!)

1. Lyon
2. Paris Pt. One
3. Paris Pt. Two
4. Napoli / Perpignan Pt. Two
5. Perpignan Pt. One
6. Ex-Visitations


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.