Review: The Phantom Limbs

The Phantom Limbs
(Alternative Tentacles)

Listening to a Phantom Limbs album is like attending a heavy metal circus while peaking on acid-a wonderful experience, I guarantee you.  Their new album continues down the same path as their first, “Applied ignorance,” which is a good thing.  You can almost picture a psychotic, child-molesting clown creeping quietly behind you with an enormous machete and a wild-eyed ringmaster with a spiked whip and long moustache calling the shots while an army of shit-flinging monkeys with hatred in their eyes do their thing.

It’s all wrapped into this nifty package of chaotic bliss.  Some of the keyboard work reminds me a bit of Murder City Devils, but the songs are far more frantic and entrancing.  There’s a bit of early Alice Cooper, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus lurking in there somewhere too.  The only thing I can say about this album that isn’t glowing with admiration is that the songs tend to melt together without much diversion from the Phantom Limbs’ distinct blueprint.  On the other hang, this is a strong point of the disc as well, as it pulls the whole thing together into a tight, cohesive nightmare.