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The Legendary Pink Dots - Chemical Playschool 10 CD (album) cover


The Legendary Pink Dots

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Mellotron Storm
4 stars The "Chemical Playschool" series of albums are an outlet for the band to showcase their more creative and experimental side. After releasing their debut album in 1981 they released later that same year "Chemical Playschool !&2" and they have continued to do so releasing "Chemical Playschool 21+22" in 2021. The "Chemical Playschool" albums used to be sold to fans during whatever tour they were on then released officially after the tour was over. So this one was sold during the "Hallway Of The Gods" tour then released later in 1997. The music here consists of new and unreleased material from 1992 to 1997 so right up my alley. We even get an early version of "The Saucers Are Coming" from "Hallway Of The Gods" called "Saucers #1". I like on the back of the cd it says "Could this be the escape hatch from the Hallway". Yes it could.

Another very cool thing about this recording is the cover art which was done by a fan through a contest they had at the time. They thank 40 people in the "thankyous" who contributed and show a few of the runnerup pictures which are very cool indeed. It would have been a difficult choice. We're talking the mid nineties here so did they mail in their entries? I have a top five and that includes the last three tracks that average 8 minutes in length each. "Inside" track number two is one that I loved from the first listen. There's a CHICAGO vibe to the rhythm section here I think from "25 Or 6 To 4". Just so into this one with that spacey calm and the vocals come and go. I just like that groove man. "The Man With The Cut-Glass Heart" has these urgent sounds with synths over top. Vocals will replace the synths at first but the synths join the vocals fairly quickly. A mid-paced beauty.

"Saucers #1" is just one of those cool sci-fi tracks where Ka-Spel narrates telling the people "We do not have every thing under control! I repeat, we do not have every thing under control!" As he also gives other warnings and describes the sky as being silver as it's filled with saucers. "Premonition #19" is a soundscape of haunting music and atmosphere. Headphone music right here! The closer "Wonderdome" has it's share of humour and is quite experimental. At one point he's chewing out the "Alien bastards". The opener "Scarlet Wish" needs a mention for that interesting rhythm section with strummed guitar. Vocals and another layer of sound before 1 1/2 minutes. A melancholic piece that I quite enjoy. I have to mention "Little Romeo" for the guitar because the guitar just isn't a focus with this band but here it is.

Closer to 4.5 stars and one of the better "Chemical Playschool" releases. Love that 90's period from this band.

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Posted Sunday, June 26, 2022 | Review Permalink

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