While most of the rock world is patiently awaiting the next Tool album, Maynard James Keenan has released yet another gem from his (sort of) solo project known as Puscifer. Money Shot (Puscifer Entertainment) is the third full length release from MJK and has quickly shot up the list of my favorite albums of the year. This record provided proportionate doses of both your typical instrumentals with a more percussive feel as well as the electronic, manufactured sound. Probably one of the most important elements outside of Maynard is the returning second vocalist, Carina Round. As Ghost Cult’s own Keith Chachkes said of Carina, “She is the yin to Maynard’s yang.” Money Shot only adds evidence to that claim as Round and Keenan once again make magic.
I always found it hard to pick out any favorite tracks when listening to new albums from any of Maynard’s projects and this album followed in the same fashion. Each song on Money Shot is truly one of a kind with their own personalities almost. Opening track, ‘Galileo’ , kicks off the record with a very spacey feeling song which is suiting of its title. This song is slightly more electronic then rock but still showcases both sides of Puscifer in an enjoyable five minute opener. ‘Simultaneous’ is half spoken word/story over crescendo instrumentals and then spills into lyrics. I found the story itself to be the best part of the song. The story is being told by a man who tried holding a conversation with someone else who was mostly too wrapped up in the music on their walkman. It is not until the batteries stop dying that this person finally starts giving his undivided attention to our narrator. At which point, the man grabs hold of the narrator and tells him that world peace cannot be obtained until three people simultaneously look each other in the eye. ‘The Remedy’ is another solid cut from this album and which really resonated with me both musically and lyrically. Instrumentally, the riffs in this song, especially in the second half, get my hair to stand straight up each time I listen. The lyrics take a big shot at people nowadays that have that entitlement feeling about themselves. Specifically, one passage of the song has Maynard mentioning that a person is speaking “like someone who has never been… smacked in the fucking mouth. That’s OK, we have the remedy.” I am sure many listeners can think of a time they had to deal with some snotty brat that thought they were better than you. Now if only we could deliver such a remedy to said asshole such as the one mentioned in this song.
From start to finish, Puscifer delivers money shot after money shot in the form of aural enjoyment. There is enough variation across the album that there really is something for everyone here. Keenan and Co can continue to be proud of their work after yet another successful release. So, instead of pounding away at your keyboard on social media bitching about the next Tool album, maybe you should hit up YouTube and try out Puscifer.