There comes a time in every band’s life when the sound “matures.” The members come back from a year in Tibet or wherever and learn to settle their creative conflicts like civilized people, and the beats are slower, there’s way less bass, and the singer goes a little flat. Of course the writing is more sophisticated, the song construction is more interesting, the lyrics are more subtle, but it’s hard not to feel like the band has lost their teeth.
That’s until the band releases the album that “gets back to their roots.” Often it’s a forced imitation of the band’s earlier sounds that filled stadiums and saturated radio waves. But once in awhile, a band truly rediscovers the old energy and revitalizes their mature sound. For The Legendary Pink Dots, that album is Plutonium Blonde.
From the electric nightmares Torch Song and Faded Photograph, to the airy prog of A World With No Mirrors, to the country lullaby Mailman, this is the wildly inventive LPD at the height of their powers. The requisite spoken-word psychodrama An Arm and a Leg has vocalist Ka-Spel at his most disturbing, with minimal reliance on electronic distortion. Other tracks cull stylings from every period of the band’s hugely varied nigh-on-30 year history. If you were ever a fan of the Dots, buy this album. If you’ve never heard of the Dots, this is an excellent place to start.