This is a review of "A Lesson In The Art Of Balance" recorded by Parisman. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2001.
Parisman take one great leap into their own future with this very polished three track CD. No more uncertainty about how to balance the rock and the electronics. Parisman have discovered what they're about, and they're doing a brilliant job of it.
"Inspiration and Tar" stands as a classic track all by itself. At nine minutes 17 seconds it hurls music from all over the place into an utterly convincing trip through narcotic paranoia. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Steve Reich, Don Henly, Led Zeppelin, Utah Saints, Kula Shaker... their full size cardboard cutouts are all there for the photo in the studio mockup, propped up behind the lads in their Sergeant Popper Uniforms (with loads of other geezers I don't recognise). Steve Reich's experimental "Different Trains" has a modern echo right at the start. Parisman's sampled voice has a falling melodic line to it, and as the voice repeats hypnotically an Eagles kind of rock guitar picks out the same pattern and turns it into the main theme in some big echoey space. It really is good and you don't really need to know technicalities. It sounds great. I won't spoil your fun by telling you everything that happens. Sit down, shut up and listen. Heroic drumming, great guitars and voices, and noises to delight and amaze.
"It Comes Eventually" is a confident opener, starting with a digital delay sounding like early Reich and going into a punchy two note riff that ties it all up. Vocals and lyrics are completely sorted, and dramatic development is all there. Cheeky little glimpses of sixties and seventies beat music, and real heaviness as it builds to a climax. Maybe I'd have cut the ending by 30 seconds but what the hell. It's huge fun. And it will work live just perfectly.
"Feelings Collide" has some weird glugging noises, followed by a big string synth part and some sampled speech. There's a strung out melody in a great voice, and then the gears turn round and off we go in a chase to the stadium rock death. Terrific.
Something's going on here. Leeds Music is getting seriously good. I fancy that Parisman might soon come up with something even better so us reviewers will be needing a bigger dial.