Legendary Pink Dots
Faux spookiness of the Count Floyd/Count Chocula variety is everywhere; just turn on MTV2, or head to your local counterculture shlock shop for a dose of unintentionally hilarious "goth" aesthetics. But for 25 years, the London-via-Amsterdam band Legendary Pink Dots have proffered a rarer, truer kind of darkness. Your Children Placate You from Premature Graves--which is approximately the band's 28th, or 46th release, depending on whether you count live albums and EPs--is subtly, eclectically and actually disturbing. On "No Matter What You Do" unfussy singer Edward Ka-Spel chews on religion's snagging edges--"Jesus loves the little children, even when they torch the cat"--over spacey Anglo-dub and storms of feedback. "Stigmata, Pt. 4" dredges up a palpably suicidal atmosphere from a slow piano ditty, synth whirls and vocals that constantly shift proximity in the mix--whispering in your ear one second, then talking over the phone, then from the other end of the room--like a manic conscience. Over 11 tracks, there's avant-jazz, midtempo industrial, Bedouin horns, melancholy Syd Barrett-ish folk and inert electro-pop recalling late-'80s Wire. The sum total is something creepier, and richer, than anything with black mascara.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.