Published Nov 01, 2018Out from the catacombs comes this David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti collaboration, a piece that is impossible to separate — temporally, thematically, emotionally — from its embryonic nativity in the early '90s. Thought Gang was born alongside other projects by the duo, most notably the recently revived Twin Peaks, whose film accompaniment Fire Walk With Me (1992) and third season (2017) have both included tracks off the album.
This truly feels like a continuation of the series. It is music that is theatrical in scope, channelling an experimental, unpredictable series of synths, heavy breathing, finger snaps, menacing cymbals and that classic slap bass that, arriving two decades after it was initially recorded, has just completed the cycle of the zeitgeist from cool to bad to enjoyable once more.
Thought Gang pulls apart that slow, cool jazz of the Double R Diner and offers it too much caffeine, the result of which is songs like "Logic and Common Sense," a chaotic improvisational piece with bites of saxophone, hot-on-your-tail bass lines, and spoken word — "I said, the hot ash of cigarettes like the men wearing suits racing lawn mowers — it's America!" I missed you, David Lynch.
Due to the vigour with which Lynch leans in to dream work, and an individualized set of symbols, it can often take a few moments to submerge in his work, whatever the medium. Thought Gang began as a dissonant listen, though as the album continues, it absolutely grew hooks. "Frank 2000" is a 16-minute pleasure piece, fusing horror synths and an increasingly threatening wave of percussion that conclude in making this otherwise droney track danceable.
Thought Gang is for lovers of non-expositional storytelling, crude mystery, lipstick-red esoteric jazz, and noise. (Sacred Bones)