Although The Legendary Pink Dots have been around since the early 1980s, they have remained relatively obscure over the course of their varied career. Frankly, they are one of those groups that one has great trouble keeping track of as they have released countless albums and collections in addition to a wealth of solo material and side projects. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the group is that almost all of their releases are highly recommended experimental psychedelic rock recordings that feature a wide range of instruments and arrangements. Plutonium Blonde once again finds the band at their diverse and unclassifiable best. Its songs contain the group’s trademark electronic wizardry and lyrical genius.
“Rainbows Too?” is a timeless sounding composition that includes rumbling waves of electronics and low buzzing saxophone that blows sorrowfully in shades of blue. Vocalist Edward Ka-Spel sings mournfully “Time to throw back the covers and fly/Cast away the rock that weighs you down/It’s time to fly” like the sky itself had just come crashing down. Then the lysergic guitar enters the piece sounding like it was drenched in lighter fluid prior to recording. The sound of it resembles that of late sixties legends Can and Pink Floyd. The production and mixing are incredible too, definitely making this best heard on with earphones.
“A World with No Mirrors” is the definitive folk song of the album. The guitar is gorgeously finger-picked and is also strummed in places. Serene is an apt word to describe this somber song, which also contains an ethereal organ that whirls along with the adept acoustic guitar. There is also the playful and strange “My First Zonee,” a track that at first sounds like it could have been written for someone’s child were it not for odd lines like “No stubborn stains with my first Zonee/No sleeping around my one and only,” but then upon further inspection, the song begins to resemble some altogether bizarre pop song that would have fit perfectly on Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
“Torchsong” is another sprawling epic that opens with keyboards and samples anxiously pumping like blood through clotted veins. Here, Ka-Spel rants along like a diseased beat poet using images and epigrams that border on the surreal. Once again, this one begs to be heard on headphones.
If the eccentric and wonderful world of The Legendary Pink Dots is unknown to you, check them out at El Corazon this weekend. Plutonium Blonde is another excellent addition to their cannon, which unfortunately has seen many releases go in and out of print. Buy this one and any of the others that you may stumble across for some of the most challenging and interesting music of the past twenty years.