much thanks to Jason Bergman and the Pastepunk staff!
PET GENIUS "PET GENIUS" (Hydra Head Records)
Review by Jason Bergman
It seems like Stephen Brodsky is just never going to go away. Whether it was cranking out killer riffs with CAVE IN or his other recently disbanded project THE OCTAVE MUSEUM, Brodsky has been putting others to shame for years with his constant musical output. Hell, I didn’t even know the guy had a new project, PET GENIUS, until the album showed up in my P.O. Box just a couple of weeks ago. Brodsky keeps the self-reinvention coming with his latest project, which is a fusion of pop-rock, stoner-inspired riffs, THE BEATLES, and totally odd lyrics. Yeah…THE BEATLES (listen to track two, “The Visiting Dynamiter” and just try to argue against it).
“Doomsday” kicks off the album with a crunchy, bombastic guitar part that starts and stops, while Brodsky sings along in the occasional falsetto range. Abstract lyrics like, “Chocolate milk day, my retainer went straight into the trash” and “Flies ignore their wings,” are present throughout the album, but the music is the main focus here. The melodic elements of later CAVE IN peak through on some of the tracks, like “Cosmic Erosion”, and even though I have no idea what he means, I find myself resonating with Brodsky as he sincerely repeats, “Our bodies will implode” over and over again. It sounds like Stephen Brodsky and crew holed up in his garage with their favorite albums for a solid week of riffing and creating heavy, yet self-aware tunes that don’t get lost in their own attempt to be too psychedelic or “out there.” Whether it’s full out balls-to-the-wall rocking, restrained, or a mix of the two (like “Float My Boat”) PET GENIUS demonstrates that Brodsky can take as many stylistic elements as he damn well pleases and make something that will have you nodding along for reasons even you are not sure of…and that’s certainly not a bad thing at all.