Originally written by Jason Jordan.
During April of this year, Psyopus will hit the road with Behold…the Arctopus and Dysrhythmia – a fitting tour package simply because all the bands involved are technical, spastic, and overly knotty. In fact, it’s a given that there’s going to be a certain amount of inaccessibility when a style such as this is on the table, and Our Puzzling Encounters Considered is no different. While the New York quartet offers truly mind-blowing musical performances time and again, what makes them a tough sell is the inability to latch onto their material, as most of the intricate tunes on Our Puzzling Encounters Considered are bursts relayed at breakneck speed. In other words, Psyopus are often an impenetrable blur, which can frustrate a listener and ultimately detract from the ever-important notion known as staying power.
With that being said, the compositions on tap are far from slapdash, but, rather, the essence of controlled chaos, which comes across as having been efficiently calculated to the highest degree. Songs such as “The Pig Keeper’s Daughter,” “2,” and “Scissor Fuck Paper Doll” are incredibly fast-paced and similar to Behold…the Arctopus, while more aggressive, grind-oriented numbers like “Whore Meet Liar,” “Insects,” and “Play Some Skynyrd” employ 7000 Dying Rats-type ingenuity. Thankfully, Psyopus switch things up with the clean, Dysrhythmia-esque “Imogen’s Puzzle Pt. 2,” which also has some Hella vibes, before accelerating to the jarring “Kill Us.” On another positive note, Our Puzzling Encounters Considered is of a tasteful length (38 minutes) and is easier to digest as a result. In short, an hour of such exhausting music would be overkill – sadistic even.
Though I’m not familiar with the reasoning behind Psyopus’ jump to Metal Blade since they fit in much better stylistically with sister label Blackmarket Activities – the label that released their debut Ideas of Reference – I suppose they’re poised to gain more exposure and more income on MB. In any event, it’s a pity that OPEC is as unapproachable as it is. The musicianship is excellent, as I said earlier, and there are no conspicuous flaws in the songwriting, but most of their songs are just difficult to get into. Or, more accurately, too difficult.