Phantom Limbs Random Hymns

Random Hymns is laden with maniacal, horror show keyboarding that gives this EP a decidedly dark side. Opening track "Topanga Canyon Torture” perfectly captures the Phantom Limbs’ penchant for gruelling discord and dirty feedback. Fittingly, it leads into "Swill,” a song tweaked with some methodical, trashy garage stylings that sounds like it’s been slowly dragged through a few dark alleys. Though this quartet, formed in 1999, have received comparisons to Christian Death, lead vocalist Hopeless is no re-incarnation of Rozz Williams, but it could be said that the Phantom Limbs are of similar vein to that era. Random Hymns combines elements from the band’s two previous releases; the brashness of their Applied Ignorance debut and the experimentation of Displacement. The track "Jackalope Rising” falls heavily into the experimental category with all of its bleeps, bloops, and bizarre, random samples, but somehow fits in with the rest. Each song here sounds like it’s been spun from jagged pieces of glass and turned into something dark and rupturing. (Gold Standard Laboratories)