Psychoangelo

Panauromni

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Music doesn't have to go anywhere; it doesn't have to be characterized by a logical and deliberate progression from one place to another in a tonal (or rhythmic) structure. Fortunately, most music does something at least approximately like that, and that kind of process is what listeners almost universally expect. So it's also reasonable to expect that those who present music of a more static nature provide some kind of explanation or justification for what they're selling. The duo that calls itself Psychoangelo (trumpeter Glen Whitehead and guitarist/computer technician Michael Theodore) declines to do so, at least via its coy and user-unfriendly website, which therefore leaves one with no choice but to face the music on its own terms. Doing so is by no means entirely unpleasant, even though there's a certain aggressive harshness to the duo's soundscapes; a sense that they are defying the listener to sit through the droning buzz and the ebbing-and-flowing mats of aural seaweed in order to catch random glimpses of momentary light. Those inclined to wait it out will be rewarded: "Pipe Dream in Silver" is like a nightmare soundtrack that suddenly gives way to luminous rays of sunshine, and "Dodechophoenix" (overly clever puns are a particular weakness of this group) sounds, not unpleasantly, like a huge swarm of very large insects being guided into battle by a small army of guitars and car horns. But by the end of the album, every track ends up feeling like only a slight variation on a single theme, and while the theme is interesting, it isn't interesting enough to sustain 44 minutes of uninterrupted listening.

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