Puscifer Existential Reckoning

Puscifer began its life as a joke in a Mr. Show sketch but has since become Maynard James Keenan’s creative refuge from Tool and A Perfect Circle. Existential Reckoning is the fourth full-length from the project and is a quirky and dark synth-pop outing featuring drumming contributions mostly from the UK’s Sarah Jones and a few appearances by NYC’s Gunnar Olsen.

Keenan and Mat Mitchell did a lot of writing on vintage synths, like the Synclavier and Fairlight, so the whole album shares some feeling with 1980s horror-movie soundtracks, somewhere between Goblin and Tangerine Dream. The drum duties are an exercise in restraint and careful production choices. Both Jones and Olsen appear on “Bullet Train to Iowa,” a floating three-beat groove with snare accents that don’t repeat in a noticeable pattern. The result is disorienting enough to want to rewind the track and analyze.

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