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Review: Puscifer “Conditions of My Parole”

Each Sunday The Hard Times takes a look at a notable album from the past. This time around we reviewed Puscifer’s “Conditions of My Parole,” the sophomore album from the band considered a “side project” of Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan.

When my editor put Puscifer’s 2011 album “Conditions of My Parole” up for grabs, I jumped at the chance to review it. Mostly because in the nearly 12 years since its release, I’ve been dedicating most of my time to running a local chapter of the Church of Saint Maynard James Keenan.

Now before you get all atheistic and snarky on me, please take a moment to consider what I have to say. We here at the CSMJK pride ourselves on not being like those pushy, judgemental evangelical preachers you’d see in a regular church, oh no. We’re deeply open-minded. Our motto is actually “All Are Welcome*,” with the asterisk referring to section 1a of our 3,000-page handbook which states:

“All Are Welcome (Should You Understand that Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer are the Defining Musical Acts of a Generation, and Spreading the Good Word of Saint Maynard James Keenan is the Most Important, Holy Work One Can Do)”

See? We’re not like those bigoted homophobes you’d find down the street. We’re simply a collection of dedicated fans who will stop at nothing to ensure that everyone worships the same man, even though he’s really gone out of his way to publicly discuss his distaste for contemporary celebrity culture in the West.

And yes, the rumors are true. He had some business cards printed up that said “Jesus H. Christ,” which, now that I think about it, seems more of an ironic and scathing commentary on placing a single human on a pedestal than an invitation to codify him into some sort of mock religion like I’ve wasted over a decade of my life doing.

Oh, fuck me. Could it be that I’ve wildly misinterpreted or outright ignored lyrics like “Narcissistic drama queen / Craving fame and all its decadence”? The answer seems like yes.

Now I can’t help but doubt all the other things that have totally gone over my head. In the title track of “Conditions of My Parole,” Keenan sings that he “shipped her off to Mozambique.” I used to think this was literal, but my god, it seems that in hindsight, he’s talking about performing some sort of execution. I can’t in good conscience continue my work at the Church after learning this.

I guess I will refocus my efforts towards unmasking anonymous bands that wish to remain that way to avoid the pitfalls of public life. That seems like a much better use of my time!

SCORE: 1/7 members of Ghost doxxed.