HGR CD Review: Pseudo-Ano

PSEUDO-ANO – HUMAN SPIRIT II (no label) Pseudo-Ano’s story began in 2007, when Iowa-based R&B singer J. Gee Gettemy met Pittsburgh-based heavy metal bassist/vocalist Kaptn. Krunch. The two began exploring new musical avenues together, and their full length CD, the independently-produced Human Spirit II, is the result. Pseudo-Ano combine elements of R&B, hip-hop, folk, pop, house/electronica and rock into a unique and varied hybrid sound over the disc’s ten tracks. J.Gee brings a smooth, soulful voice to the mix, while Kaptn. Krunch performs all instruments and contributes rapping counterpoints along the way. The songs run the gamut from edgy and experimental to mellow and romantic. The disc-opener “Time…Gone” shows Pseudo-Ano’s more terse side, as electronica-geared soul quickly gives way to a heavier industrial midsection and homestretch. Mandolin helps set up the milder R&B of “1st Love, 2nd Chance,” while “U Just U” and “Miss U,” evolve from electronica R&B starts into harder rock exercises. Pseudo-Ano crafts more ethereal terrain on their commentary on the state of the planet “World I C,” while “4 U 2 C” leans more acoustic in tone. The contrast between J. Gee’s soulful croon and Kaptn. Krunch’s harsher rapping tone is front and center through the disc, with the ever-changing arrangements swirling and building around the basic melodies. The song arrangements tend to be busy, and repeat listens expose more nuances and details. Sometimes the percussion passages get too busy and counteract the relaxed set-up of the melody, coming off somewhat awkward. But in all, Pseudo-Ano is interesting and a work in progress, and Human Spirit II shows enough innovation and freshness in its approach to provide hope for Pseudo-Ano’s direction as they continue to grow and focus their hybrid sound. (The CD can be obtained through the group’s Reverbnation page, www.reverbnation.com/pseudoano.)