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Legendary Pink Dots - Asylum CD (album) cover

ASYLUM

Legendary Pink Dots

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.57 | 12 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
3 stars This is another lush psychedelic journey courtesy of those barmy Orangemen , the Legendary Pink Dots, purveyors of strange sounds and bizarre moods and stalwart defenders of the space vibe in the 1980s, when prog was an excellent cadaver indeed. What makes their brand of lunacy so appealing is that they have maintained the Planet Gong weirdness and infused it with some admirable personal traits, the voluptuous violin of Patrick Wright, the stifling guitar growls from Barry Gray, slippery keys handled by Phil Knight and of course, the deadpanned vocals of singer Edward Kaspel , aka The Prophet. This is a snippet laden affair with 15 mini-tracks that sort of flow together helter-skelter but it works in some enchanted way. Things can be pretty standard on tracks like "Echo Police", as well as outright leftfield (get the pun?) on the smelly "Gorgon Zola's Baby" (now that's cheese!) or the seedy "Fifteen Flies in the Marmalade" with a violin riff lifted from Bedrich Smetana's classic Moldau and kookie vocalizings. The haunting voice boots up the "Femme Mirage" program, full of desperate illusions, Arab violin swindling evocatively, oasis guitars and sparse instrumentation coloring the musical dunes. By sheer fluke, a quirky piece like "The Hill" appends to the poetic confusion even more idiosyncrasy and keeps the tension sweatingly palpable. Yes, it's weird, folks, so be warned. Satanic on "Demonic", outright histrionic on "Prisoner" and epic on the 11 minute + "So Gallantly Screaming" where the Dutch lads decide to pick on the poor US of A by editing a line from the "Stars & Stripes" and going on a First Amendment joyride (We Canadians know American history!). This is not surprisingly the album's highpoint as the width offers freedom enough for major introspection and instrumental liberty. Ambient yet bizarre, obtuse and somehow veiled, Kaspel shines here. On the Jesusian "I Am the Way, the Truth, the Light" er?. John 14.6 (we Canadians know our religion especially if we are skeptics), Edward the Prophet goes nirvana on us, deliriously preaching to some imaginary higher order. The violin shows its catty appeal once again, in collusion with the ruffled axe and the pillorying beat. Bees are! A choice piece of holy bread dipped in sweet wine. Other wacky tracks pursue the course, little ditties like the celestial "Agape", the bombastic electronica of "Golden Dawn" with its flinching electric guitar solo, the ominous and unhinged "The Last Straw", the ultra sarcastic "Message from Our Sponsor"(where the ambient copters flutter and Lucifer rants) , the unbalanced "Go Ask Alice" (vocal fx in Dutch) and the ungodly 8 minute closer , vacuously titled "This Could Be the End" which really highlights the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds philosophy that keeps these trekkers tripping!

I enjoy listening to LPD when I feel my sanity leaving me, generally caused by the massive ongoing daily stupidity we are all faced with in daily life. Was it not Albert Einstein who said "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" . Not their best album (5 of those will come up very soon from 1988-1992) but a pleasant enough intravenous of banana colored freeze. 3.5 loonie bins

tszirmay | 3/5 |

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