Legendary Pink Dots Plutonium Blonde

[ROIR; 2008]

Styles: Electro Euro weirdness that biffs you in the yam-yams
Others: Edward Ka-Spel solo, The Silverman, Mayo Thompson/Red Krayola, Scott Walker

Legendary Pink Dots are loopy as oompah-loompahs and as tough to choke down as lard-lumped oatmeal when they let their deepest eccentricities shine through. Keep your eyes fixed, however, and you’ll catch the infinite possibilities of an unbridled mind right in the eye. Most exciting about the Dots is how much material there is to sift through starting with 1981’s Dots on the Eyes, and most of it’s relatively hard to find/download for folks like me who don’t possess a decent record store/OiNK replacement.

Plutonium Blonde works perfectly as a link in an endless chain of pop ignorance, where outside trends are as unimportant as song structure and restraint. LPD’s principal members Edward Ka-Spell and Silver Man are prone to whipping out moves you don’t expect, plucking on a banjo one minute and manipulating a tape loop the next. Common as that seems with today’s indie wunderkinds dipping into all sorts of instruments and influences, Legendary Pink Dots have been doing this for much longer and have suffered because of it. Despite their seething, rabid cult following, the Dots don’t do commerce. You can probably count the number of LPD fans in your town on one hand, yet when you add it all up, what you get are a few rare expensive records and a whole pile of ignored music.

Maybe that’s what makes it so exciting to find so much life still blooming on each successive recording. Legendary Pink Dots, like so many others, create while few are watching and have the time of their lives. It’s impossible not to join in on the merriment. Spinning their LPs, especially Blonde, is more like sitting through a surreal Dr. Who movie than sitting through a typical record. You get a lot of accent-heavy voiceover narrative, strange synth sounds, cheesiness, to be sure, and a generally clinical feel throughout.

That said, I’m totally on board. Bands like Legendary Pink Dots don’t come along too often. Witness the surreal tribal dink-and-dunk percussion, the whimsical segues from one track to the next, the deep, dank moods that will shift your shit (one way or another), the Wall-esque narratives that barely make sense yet compel, the keyboard phrases that sound scraped from the floor of the final warehouse scene from the original Terminator movie. Indeed, the depth of the insanity brought to the table here is not for the faint of Floyd.

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