PSYOPUS, Odd Senses (2009, Metal Blade)
Another sideways skull, this time an x-ray of a skull being drained by humungous mosquitoes. Plus some crazy, pointless psychedelic background, added as always in a lame attempt to hide the shame of a big dumb skull. When will these bands learn, though, that there is no shame in a BDS! Wear it like a badge of honor, the visible proof that you don’t care if anyone knows how uncreative you are. You can pretend all you want that you have better ideas, but you’re fooling no one, and now you can’t even claim to be operating ironically. Say it loud, “I’m a hack and I’m proud!”
It’s sort of astounding, the number of bands spawned by Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity. Of course, it’s a staggeringly original album, but it was also so singularly odd and musically daunting that when it came out, I doubt anyone would have guessed it would birth an entire cottage industry of wannabes. In an alternate universe, it would be like hundreds of bands blatantly rehashing Control and Resistance in 1991. Anyway, of the legion of DEP knockoffs, Psyopus are one of the better ones, but as with Meshuggah clones, no one ever really comes too close to capturing the magic of the original. Psyopus are on the branch of winking-ironist-DEP-lovers, with a high degree of silliness in their music (and probably lyrics, but I can’t be bothered to find out.) On Odd Senses this manifests in lots of goofy samples and the comic overuse of a whammy pedal. All the blasting and screaming gets old really fast, though, and while the patient scrutiny/endurance of Calculating Inifinity bears the sort of hard-won intellectual rewards you can also expect from, say, Obscura, Psyopus, like all their ilk, offer only the surface details, with none of the hidden depth. You’ll have to work just as hard to make it through their albums in a single sitting, but you’ll find no catharsis at the end. Just a minor headache and the resolve to not do this again any time soon.
— Friar Johnsen