The Legendary Pink Dots – Angel in the Detail

Rating: 2/5
Distributor/label URL: Metropolis Records
Released: 2019
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Band line-up:

Edward Ka-Spel – Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Phil Knight – Keyboards
Erik Drost – Guitar
Joep Hendrix – Keyboards
Raymond Steeg – Programming


1. Happy Birthday Mr President
2. Double Double
3. Junkyard
4. Itchyoo Shark/Isle of Sighs
5. Neon Calculators
6. My Land/Parallels
7. Maid to Measure
8. Mantis
9. The Photographer
10. Red Flag


When I was sent this album I had never heard of The Legendary Pink Dots, so I assumed they were a new group, but looking them up I discovered they have been on the Alternative Rock scene for the best part of 40 years, and this is their 32nd album: “Angel in the Detail.”

This is a band with a long history of experimentation, delving into the worlds of noise rock, synthpop, EBM, Gothic and nearly everything else that bestowed the alternative scene in the wake of the punk explosion.

You would think such an experienced and versatile band would have it in them to keep peddling some of the best music ever, but this release is not one of them. To begin with, the sound is lost somewhere between middle-of-the-road indie rock, which swamped the airwaves in the mid-2000s, and contemporary darkwave.

What betrays the album most is the vocals which drawl rather than pang or croon if that’s what the band were going for. They sound like a set of morose teenagers who wanted to sound like Arab Strap at their darkest but couldn’t find any instruments that would have put boring indie acts to shame.

It’s not all dull, however: the opening track “Happy Birthday Mr President” is somewhat memorable with some cleverly placed sound bites of Trump’s speeches, but after that I got lost very quickly. The audible rabbit hole became too big a warren for my low attention span, which is more suited to the post-punk and Gothic side of the indie world.

Here we have a band with a long and eclectic career who have proven once again that even the most experienced of artists can deliver something dull.

Review by

Demitri Levantis