(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Let's Walk on the Path of a Blue Cat (2020), 6.5/10
To See the Next Part of the Dream (2021), 7/10
After the Magic (2023), 5.5/10
After the Night (2023), 6.5/10 (live)

The prolific South Korean singer-songwriter Laststar, who had already released tons of music since 2017, adopted the moniker Parannoul for the mostly instrumental Let's Walk on the Path of a Blue Cat (2020) on which he experimented a dreamy fusion of brainy post-rock and emotional shoegaze-pop. The archetype is Tone After Tone, but there are variations. Dream Hallucination is a soulful piece of lyrical impressionism. The syncopated Path of a Blue Cat borders on jazz-rock. Bright Dark, Lost Shoelaces, One Year of Failure is a suite in the vein of classic prog-rock of the 1970s. Alone in the Forest flirts with minimalist repetition and drum'n'bass. Reincarnation is almost a geometrical theorem in the way it weaves together mathematical tinkling and hysterical progression.

That idea resulted in the To See the Next Part of the Dream (2021), which, despite the lo-fi production, stands as an effective musical statement. It opens with the rather tedious emo-style litany Beautiful World, but finds its footing with the coupling of catchy synth leitmotif and thick guitar noise in Analog Sentimentalism. The ten-minute White Ceiling is the best manifestation of his emo psyche: rising from the sound of a clock alarm, it unwinds as a hypnotic and melancholy ballad shrouded in friendly guitar distortion and ends in a cacophonous crescendo that seems to embody hopelessness. The floating ethereal singing in To See the Next Part of the Dream (the standout among the shorter songs) is accompanied by dense, sentimental and meandering jamming. The nine-minute Age of Fluctuation is a confused hodgepodge of melodramatic musical gestures. Youth Rebellion sounds like his version of dance-punk of the 1980s, and Chicken is a bedroom elegy worthy of British twee-pop of the 1990s. I Can Feel My Heart Touching You sounds too much like a lullaby to lull children to sleep. Parannoul finds a graceful and at times majestic balance between simple, subdued melodic singing and bombastic guitar strumming.

Downfall of the Neon Youth (2021) is a split album. Parannoul's main contributions are Insomnia and the eight-minute Closer. He also released the single Into the Endless Night (2021).

Parannoul also released the ambient work Rough and Beautiful Place (2022) as Mydreamfever.

After the Magic (2023) veers towards a poppy format with more prominent vocals, notably in Insomnia and Imagination, and so the first part of Arrival sounds like Yes with distorted guitars. Sound Inside Me Waves Inside You The insistence on trite melodies (especially when sung by such a mediocre vocalist) ends up ruining the piano magic of the seven-minute Parade and can become positively tedious (We Shine at Night). The good news is that keyboards are used in creative and effective ways for the celestial explosion of Polaris, in the seven-minute Sketchbook, and to decorate the post-emo anthem Blossom.

The live album After the Night (2023) contains a whopping 46-minute cathartic version of Into the Endless Night that, after the 15-minute mark, turns jazzy, Hendrix-ian and chaotic jamming (including a trumpet solo by Fin Fior) only to quiet down in the last 13 minutes and to launch into one final King Crimson-ian crescendo. The whole seems largely influenced by the Fishmans.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )