The Legendary Pink Dots “Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves” (ROIR)
By Trey Perkins
Friday. Jun 09, 5:21 PM
Fucking bizarre beyond description (in a good way).
I thought I knew about weird music. I thought listening to Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention was enough. I thought enduring the entirety of Pink Floyd’s “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict” would allow me to say that I had a “handle” on strange music. Well, I was wrong, entirely too wrong. Why? Because one day I woke up and checked my mail, and as it turned out I was supposed to review a band that is equally as macabre and bizarre, if not even moreso: The Legendary Pink Dots. Although I’ve mentioned Zappa and Floyd, it’s not a fair comparison. The Dots are not as whimsical as Zappa, even when Frank is steeped in his most cynical of moods. And to compare the Dots to Floyd wouldn’t be accurate, either. The Legendary Pink Dots are closest to the Syd Barret era of Pink Floyd: dark, brooding, moody, and officially scary. Yet these are only comparisons that don’t do the band any justice. The only reason for mentioning Floyd is quite possibly to come to the realization that the Dots are in a class by themselves. To be more frank, The Legendary Pink Dots sound like nothing I’ve ever heard: it’s weird, and it’s just about as freaky as finding a Latin-speaking baby in a trash can. Scratch that. With an album entitled Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves, it’s way more sinister than that.
Like Barret-era Floyd, the music has a whimsical pretense that actually conveys darker motives and intents. From the beginning of “Count on Me,” a piano riff cues up and sounds like a scene in a horror movie. Two people wandering through an abandoned house find an infantile music box that plays a theme. The theme is only haunting because it’s juxtaposed against dark surroundings. With a title like “Count on Me,” one would it expect it to be a love song of some generic type, but again, we hear a haunting piano riff that’s made even more creepy because of a dense and hollow sounding echo surrounding it. Edward Ka-Spel, the band’s vocalist, mumbles through lines with a monotone British accent. “Bad Hair” is a great example of this, and it’s actually a pretty good song.
I haven’t really listened to The Legendary Pink Dots’ music in the past, so I had no idea what to expect. With a name like theirs, I had some idea that it would be off the wall, emotionally overwrought music, and I began to wonder if this weirdness and cryptic attitude is a front. I mean, what makes them so legendary? The music speaks for itself and lyrics like “stuffing myself with sedatives” leave no room for questions. This is a band that’s a real oddity. Not only are the Dots incredibly obscure, but they’re also damn proud of their relative cryptic nature. They take pleasure in maintaining this “under the radar” status. It’s allowed them success as a best kept secret, and they’re damned good at what they do. In this way, questions about how good of an album is Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves are moot. The band’s intent is to continue exploring the odd, the bizarre, and the marginal, and they succeed. I felt as about uncomfortable listening to the album as I did listening to the death knell of kittens (not that I do that on my own free time…). Most likely, if you considered Salad Fingers to be orgasmic, you might get your rocks off by picking up Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves.
(The year of this review was not specified on the site.)