Pseudo/Sentai - Enter the SentaiThe Super Sentai are a team of superheroes who protect planet Earth from the relentless onslaught of assorted evil beings while sporting tight, really tight, brightly coloured, super tight costumes. Though you might not have heard of the Super Sentai despite their essential work, I assume you know of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, who are their Western counterparts. The Power Rangers derive the Power in their title from an insanely righteous theme tune, so obviously on reading the name Pseudo/Sentai, I feel compelled to head straight to Youtube to slap “Go Go Power Rangers” on a loop for the rest of the afternoon. Pseudo/Sentai‘s first challenge, then, is to convince me to break out of this cycle of awesomeness so I can give their tunes a chance. While most bands would fail miserably at this task, Pseudo/Sentai‘s previous album Bansheeface was an unexpected gem that not only tore me away from my nostalgia-loop, but had me raving about it on these very pages. Less than a year later, the false Sentai are back with another prog punk explosion, and such was my excitement I stuck it on immediately without even considering Ron Wasserman’s classic theme.

Enter the Sentai does not disappoint, picking up where Bansheeface left off and perfecting its unique blend of indie, prog, punk and metal: think The Mars Volta, King Crimson, Hammers of Misfortune, Mastodon, and Cardiacs1 condensed together into remarkably unpretentious bursts of creative ecstasy. But while Bansheeface eased you into Pseudo/Sentai‘s crazy world with an almost soothing opening pair of songs, Enter the Sentai launches straight into the chaotic cacophony that is its title track, rapid drum flurries cascading against Spanish-flavoured guitar lines, powerful synths, and huge vocal harmonies with all the determination of a band who really do believe they are trying to save the world from evil. This strong sense of urgency persists for the remainder of the album, ensuring Enter the Sentai works well as a cohesive whole in contrast to Bansheeface‘s collection of excellent individual songs.

This is quite an achievement given the diversity of influences on display. Each track, whether it is the complex indie-prog of “Code Ocean” or “Adaptive Manipulator,” the angular hardcore of “Belle of the Cabal,” the melodic metal of “Crown of the Crow King” or the stoner groove of “Werewolf Casey,” is jam-packed with the kind of inventive musical ideas that Pseudo/Sentai have made their trademark. There is so much going on it is sometimes hard to keep up, and serious concentration is required to get the most out of the album. Despite this underlying complexity, Enter the Sentai is brimming with catchy hooks. “Desert Dessert” and “The Man-The Mill-The Machine” in particular benefit from massive choruses that will set up camp in your brain for weeks.

Pseudo/Sentai 2016

Unfortunately, Colin Marston’s production does not lend itself well to such dense compositions. Though I appreciate the record’s roughness – the great natural drum sound in particular – the busier arrangements become very difficult to pick apart under a general haze of distortion. I much prefer this gritty sound to the hyper-polished nonsense of so much modern prog, but given their compositional style they have sacrificed a little too much clarity for edginess. Greater dynamic range might also have allowed the heavier sections to have a bigger impact.

Really though, the production is the only thing I can find to criticise. Enter the Sentai would be a fantastic achievement for any band, let alone an unsigned bunch of manga-freaks who are – get this – giving the album away for nothing. Make sure you stick July 8th in your calendar so you can take the afternoon off to bask freely in Pseudo/Sentai‘s magical music undisturbed. Go Go Power Rangers indeed.


Rating: Great!
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Release
Websites: pseudosentai.compseudosentai.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/pseudosentai
Releases Worldwide: July 8th, 2016

Show 1 footnote

  1. Thanks to AMG reader Jeff Kent for turning me onto those absolute geniuses

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  • I was hoping for an Inspector Gadget concept album.

    • Go go gadget Jorn!

    • I was hoping for that “super tight costumes” link to lead to something more… shall we say delicate and graceful.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        “Super tight costumes” could never lead to anything delicate and graceful…

        • I’m not a big fan of catwoman, and I have no other examples at hand, but there’s bound to be some tightly wrapped up eye-candy out there that pleases you.
          And what could possibly be more super tight than body paint?

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Eye candy, yes… delicate and graceful? I don’t know hahaha

          • I guess my choice of words wasn’t the best. I was aiming for a more refined version of “foxy”, as I’m a civilized motherfucking gentleman who attempts to avoid such vulgar expressions as “sexy”, but my fucking mind just stagnated on me. ;)

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            In this case, “eye candy” turned out to be “delicate and graceful”…

    • mtlman1990

      BTBAM- Fossil Genera

    • Nukenado

      Honestly, if any band would do that, it would be The Black Dahlia Murder.
      The centerpiece would be “Chained In Place By Wires of Reconstruction”, and the album gets a catchy name like “Punctured” or the kind.

  • Intriguing. Although it lacks the emotional punch of Megaman X’s story as told by the Protomen.

    • Berit Dogg

      Listening to this now as well. And crying.

    • Alexandros

      Wow, never expected to have the Protomen mentioned on this website.

    • Hah, that is true, The Protomen are in a league of their own.

  • SegaGenitals

    Vocals get a little system-of-a-downy at times. Not a bad thing.

    • GardensTale

      On ‘Belle of the Cabal’ especially

  • Berit Dogg

    God damn! I was a Cardiacs fan long before I became a metal fan, and I’m just now coming off my first real Cardiacs binge in a decade. So sad that band ended, but this will help. Thank you, mr Richard!

  • Siege Bantayan

    1/5 no giant robot on cover.

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    You remember that time a commenter suggested we write hilarious fake band reviews and then post them? I thought this was one of them. Glorious review. Ridiculous band. But I’m kinda enjoying it…

    • Gaëtan Baratin

      Damn, that’s a good idea.
      I should’ve applied to be a writer for AMG with a fake profile and a fake review of a fake album…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        And then they would have given you a fake reviewing gig for a fake reviewing blog!

      • [not a Dr]

        Wasn’t that Happy Metal Guy’s job?

  • AngryMetalBird

    Marvelous!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Checked this out because of the awesome album cover (is that a giant spermatozoid causing a sun eclipse?). It sounds awesome and for some reason it also sounds… Power Rangey?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    That Power Rangers crayon drawing needs an unicorn.

  • Tom Hardy

    They have a 70’s hippie old/ classic rock vibe in their chorus vocals. This got boring quicker than I expected from a ‘Great’ rating.

  • Vassago Gamori

    In all the time I was growing up, I only saw Dad cry two times. After the first time, I didn’t say anything. But after the second time I left a note on his dresser that said, “See a psychiatrist.” I don’t know if he ever did, but at least I didn’t see him cry again.

  • Eli Valcik

    I like this.