Conditions of My Parole
Maynard James Keenan is no stranger to keeping busy. Beyond his work with Tool and A Perfect Circle, side project Puscifer gives Keenan the opportunity to experiment with a variety of collaborators.
While the overarching sound of Conditions of My Parole is post-industrial, there isn’t a distinct sonic landscape that carries from song to song. Loud guitars are almost always a must, but there are also a few pleasant surprises, such as the delicate banjo and erhu that make “Tumbleweed” such a beautiful, poignant closing track. Carina Round’s vocal contributions throughout the record are another high point to bring life to this project.
Of course, rocking out is something that Keenan does well, and Conditions is no exception. “Tiny Monsters” has an ambient, slow burn feel to it, while the second track, “Green Valley,” builds into fuzzy, distorted churning. “Monsoons” could fit in on an electronica album, whereas tracks like “Man Overboard” and “Toma” are more representative of harder rock roots.
Puscifer is far from being a throwaway side project, and Keenan is truly able to sink his teeth into material that wouldn’t fit with his other work. Conditions is still nuanced, pulse-pounding, and at times, darkly stunning.