The Gethsemane Option
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The Legendary Pink Dots is an Anglo-Dutch experimental rock band formed in London in August 1980. Although far outside the mainstream (in terms of their music and career path), LPD have released more than 40 albums, have a devoted worldwide following, and tour frequently. The core members of the group, Edward Ka-Spel (vocals, keyboards, songwriter) and Phil Knight (a.k.a. The Silverman) (keyboards, electronics), are joined by Erik Drost (guitars) and Raymond Steeg (live sound engineer). The band's debut for Metropolis Records, entitled The Gethsemane Option, is a seven song, hour long exploration in textural ambience and rock experimentalism. Featuring Ka-Spel's distinctive vocals and lyrical imagery blended with hypnotic guitar and synth washes and spellbinding bass pulses, The Gethsamane Option is a musical laudanum induced fever dream. An enthralling, captivating release.
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The tracks range from the dark "Pendulum," a song where Ka-Spel uses his hypnotic voice to communicate messages about violence, death, and the recognition that we humans--even in times of conflict like war-- are essentially all the same, to the upbeat, electro-bizarre "Grey Scale," which reinforces the Dots standing as the current kings of electronic psychedelia. The mind-blowing "A Stretch in Time," best enjoyed at full volume with the lights out, gets my vote for best song of the last 10 years! (With Steven Wilson's "Harmony Korine" a few year back in the running). The song again makes great use of Ka-Spel's haunting vocals, and this time they are skillfully augmented with a deliberate succession of subtle sound effects, gorgeous keyboard crescendos, and a ghostly choir of voices merging with a gaseous rush and ending in a--if I may borrow a phrase from the Ozric Tentacles- "swirly termination." You must hear it to believe it.
The Dots is like the universe--ever evolving and ever changing. If you love the Dots like I do, you will love this album. If you are new to the Dots, this is as good as place to start as any. If you appreciate interesting, thoughtful music that challenges the heart and mind, the Dots are for you. Their latest effort is some of the best music currently out there. But it does ask something of the listener: it asks you to listen.
"Just six more dimensions--too many now to mention...."
Sing while you may!
I agree with the previous review that this demands a lot from the listener, but is well worth the time. In my opinion their best in the last 10 years or so. Yes, Hoornblower is missed, but on the other hand I can't see this album coming out the way it did if he was there.
Pendulum makes an immediate impression - amazing - like this entire CD, so so much going on. The track recalls feelings from 'Centre Bullet', but much more solemn and intense.
One More Dimension is next in terms of impact. Again, please take the time to truly listen - unbelievable - so many layers of sound - so many different things going on at the same time.
The rest the CD is great, but this one is worth it for these two tracks alone.
Ed and Phil are very talented musicians I just wish they would get out of this very uninspiring minimalistic age they seem to be stuck in. I'm not asking them to remake Crushed Velvet, but I'd like them to go back to (I really hate sounding pretentious saying this) solid "real songs". I'm usually not happy to see only 5-7 tracks on their albums that go on for 12 minutes because I know exactly what I'm in for and it gets predictable. I think they are capable of epic soundscapes but usually seem to settle for just weird atmosphere pieces. Their label is Trademark of Quantity and sometimes this joke is all too real and they seem to put quantity over quality in terms of their number of releases.