The Tear Garden — The Secret Experiment
(Sub-Conscious Communications sub 033, 2007, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-01-01The Legendary Pink Dots and Skinny Puppy have been recording music on and off as The Tear Garden since 1986. The Secret Experiment is their eighth release, arriving five years after their previous Eye Spy with My Little Eye. The Tear Garden is a collaborative effort with Skinny Puppy typically providing the musical ideas and the LPDs the lyrics. You will not experience the harsh visceral electronics of Skinny Puppy nor will you hear the structured songs of the Dots. Instead The Tear Garden creates a hybrid that can be thought of as an upbeat Skinny Puppy or a darker LPD. Following Skinny Puppy's penchant for science fiction and horror movies, a number of the songs are in this genre. Perhaps the best song is the 15 minute album closer "A Gift of Knowledge" that combines movie and radio samples, sweeping chords, ambient electronics and rhythms, and Edward Ka-Spel's unique recitation. The album artwork looks like a worn out and dog-eared CD case that has been left in the lab and stained repeatedly with various substances. There are little demons crawling out of beakers and flasks reminding me of that disturbing animated Scion ad seen in movie theaters this summer with the Deviants slaughtering the Sheeple. Five years is too long to wait between Tear Garden releases, we can only hope that it won't take so long for their next one.
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