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Legendary Pink Dots - Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves

Released on Roir, 5/30/06

Celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new album and coinciding tour, Legendary Pink Dots founders Edward Ka-Spel and Phil “The Silverman” Knight have made no secret of their desire to make the occasion a memorable one. “The actual theme of ‘legacy’, the consequence of past and present action on the future, has consciously informed much of this release,” Knight says. “In some ways, it’s been a central-core theme of all our songwriting these last 25 years.” Right. The good news for Knight and the Dots faithful is that Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves is a return to mystifying form for the aging outfit, an abstract jumble of orchestral flourishes, melancholy piano riffs, drugged-out psychedelia and industrial gloom.

Is it compelling? Oddly, yes. The Dots are anything but focused, and most tracks on Premature Graves meander along without any discernible direction, taking countless detours into sonic chaos and formless jamming. “The Island of Our Dreams”, a haunting, delicate ballad that could pass for Animals-era Pink Floyd, is tightly constructed and readily accessible before dissolving, ever so arbitrarily, into dissonant noise. Elsewhere, Ka-Spel and Knight serve up straightforward slices of whimsical pop (“Feathers At Dawn”), quasi-religious chants (“No Matter What You Do”) and droning, synth-heavy tales of Middle Eastern violence (“Please Don’t Get Me Wrong”).

If Premature Graves isn’t particularly uplifting -- and with a title like that, who’d have guessed? -- it is an oddball beauty, lovingly pieced together by madcap scientists who aren’t afraid to have a few experiments blow up in their faces. Here, they design a series of luscious soundscapes so vast that they sometimes get lost. No matter. For the Legendary Pink Dots and their cult-like legion of fans, getting lost is an essential part of the trip.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars