Rock

Puscifer Is Back With the Slinky, Funky and Super-Confusing 'The Underwhelming'

Maynard James Keenan Puscifer
Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

Maynard James Keenan of Puscifer performs at the Voodoo Music Experience on Oct. 30, 2016 in New Orleans. 

The band's first album in five years, 'Existential Reckoning,' is due out Oct. 30.

Maynard James Keenan has been on a tear lately. The Tool frontman released the first album by his main gig in more than a decade last year, Fear Inoculum, and Friday morning (Sept. 18) he revealed that the long-awaited new album from his supergroup Puscifer, Existential Reckoning, is due out on Oct. 30.

The first taste of the follow-up to 2015's Money Shot, the truly odd, but very funky "The Underwhelming," also dropped. "Formative Extreme conditions/ Tempering/ Your will and way/ Mindful now/ Of graceless dullards/ Plodding through/ Their vapid cabaret," Keenan sings on the spooky, soulful track with the twisty lyrics that include a reference to the "king's new clothing" in the chorus.

The group, fronted by Keenan and featuring singer/keyboardist Carina Round and guitarist Mat Mitchell, released the first taste of the album in May, the throbbing "Apocalyptical." The information about the new album came with a typically confusing announcement in the form of what looks like a redacted government report.

"Reports out of Jerome, Ariz. confirm the impending arrival of Existential Reckoning, a 12-song album from the special agents operating under code name Puscifer," it read. "The release is scheduled for an Oct. 30 arrival via Alchemy Recordings/Puscifer Entertainment/BMG.The agents, Mat Mitchell (guitar, bass, keys) and Carina Round (vocals, keys), with agent-in-training Maynard James Keenan (vocals, stories) a.k.a. Dick Merkin, preview the forthcoming release with ‘The Underwhelming.'"

A month before Tool dropped their follow-up to 2006's 10,000 Days, Keenan announced last July that Puscifer were working on new music via a brief glimpse of him at a microphone along with a mention of guitarist Mitchell. "Mat Mitchell My Eye. #chippingaway @puscifer2021 @matmitchell @carinaround," read the caption to the picture, which also linked to Round's account.

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Keenan has been teasing news about Puscifer's fourth studio album all week via a series of cryptic tweets with what turned out to be lyrics from "Underwhelming" and some spooky alien images. Check them all out, and listen to "The Underwhelming," below.