Thought Gang

Thought Gang

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Thought Gang Review

by Bekki Bemrose

Thought Gang is the collective moniker of two towering proponents of all things weird. Over the years, Angelo Badalamenti has created the soundtrack for David Lynch's surrealist visions, from Blue Velvet to Twin Peaks to Mulholland Drive. In the early '90s, they began collaborating on a purely musical project, which was 90-percent completed during that decade. What began in 1991 took 26 years to see daylight, or the dark night, as is perhaps more appropriate when describing Lynch's murky visions. Thought Gang certainly don't disappoint when it comes to any anticipated weirdness listeners may expect. Even by these long-standing collaborators' standards, their self-titled debut is pretty out there. Loosely taking the form of madly obscure jazz experiments, the tracks were created with Badalamenti and additional jazz musicians interpreting Lynch's strange, imagined scenes. Largely, the compositions are true to their original form, save some supplementary guitar parts -- courtesy of Lynch -- on "One Dog Bark," and new vocals on "Jack Paints It Red," which are as creepy as one might hope. Two tracks on the record may well be familiar to hardcore fans, as both "A Real Indication" and "The Black Dog Runs at Night" appeared on the 1992 soundtrack to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Reportedly, Lynch was apprehensive about Badalamenti taking the vocals on the former track lest he embarrass himself. The resultant speak-sing beatnik-esque delivery lends the track an out-of-time hard-boiled atmosphere that ultimately delighted the director. And Lynch achieves an impressive, intimidating prowl with the buckled bass solo, while the cool jazz motif "One Dog Bark" is rendered off-center by the guitar shredding in the background. Overall, Thought Gang feels like being jettisoned into the outer reaches of Lynch's no doubt brilliant, but nevertheless manifestly eccentric mind. As such, Lynch and Badalamenti aficionados will no doubt revel in its many strange charms, but perhaps above all, they'll appreciate the sound of two old friends having a great deal of mischievous fun.

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