The Legendary Pink Dots – Chemical Playschool 15 [Rustblade, 2012]

For anyone who doesn’t know them, Netherlands-based band The Legendary Pink Dots are one of the most productive yet obscure groups the country has every harboured. Over a span of no less than three decades, LPD have given birth to some 30 odd albums, about 50 live albums, with more side projects, collaborations and singles than the band has been able to keep track of themselves.

Their latest album, Chemical Playschool 15 is a good old fashioned concept album, with nice long numbers that blur the lines between the beginning and ending of songs. The first song, ‘Immaculate Conception’ grabs you from the start, like a play opening where it’s pitch dark and a lone actor is on centre stage, lit by a bright white spotlight. Profilic and eerie, lead singer Edward Ka-Spel is your guide to a synth-filled voyage through the depths of his own mystical mind by way of lyrics that captivate and keep a growing, worldwide following coming back for more. For the diehard fans, Chemical Playschool 15 also comes in a limited edition deluxe purple bag, of which only 100 copies were produced, featuring a DVD and bonus CD.

As far as The Dots are concerned, their circle is miles from being round, and their story arc is as exciting as ever. Chemical Playschool 15 is as good a place to start as any, featuring their unique brand of storytelling, droning samples and folk bits thrown in for good measure.

Natasha Cloutier

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