Asked by a fawning female admirer how he writes women so effectively, Melvin Udall, the misanthropic novelist played by Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets responds “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” Similarly devoted to alienating any reasonable person, it would seem, Paris Suit Yourself appear to approach writing music by subtracting any trace of form, melody, rhythmic consistency, excitement, emotional resonance and animating purpose. Instead, this French/American/German hybrid uses its appalling debut album, My Main Shitstain, as a shapeless platform for flailing about in any manner of directions except those that might lead anywhere listenable or engaging. Near impossible as it may be to guess at the motivations of a band not seemingly devoted to any meaning beyond its own obnoxious whims, PSY seem to be reaching for some kind of mishmash of Gang Of Four’s angular funk rock, Roxy Music’s arty flourishes and TV On The Radio’s expansive multicultural palette, but without any sense of unifying coherence or even the faintest hint of knowledge of how to put a song together. The lyrics seem to make the occasional hint at some kind of political or historical statement—one song is titled after executed anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl, so there’s that—but good luck trying to extract any message when the presentation is this garbled.
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// Notes from the Road
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