The Parenthetical Girls Priviledge
Ever the pragmatists, Parenthetical Girls are set to release Privilege—the band's new full length—as a box set of five extremely limited 12" EPs on their own Slender Means Society label. These EPs will be sold separately in sequence every quarter over the next 15 months, each as they are completed. They will not be distributed to stores. As the cycle concludes, the fifth and final 12" will come packaged in a beautiful, aesthetically cohesive LP box designed to house all four of the preceding releases, forming the complete Privilege album. Limited to 500 physical copies per EP, the 12"s will each feature original art by renowned Swedish illustrator Jenny Mörtsell, and will be hand-numbered in the blood of their respective band members. The second 12"—subtitled The Past, Imperfect—will be released on September 21, 2010, and will be numbered in the blood of cover star Rachael Jensen.
Having taken pop extravagance to its logical conclusion with their critically acclaimed Orchestral Pop opus Entanglements, Parenthetical Girls have given the orchestra their leave—and the resulting transformation is no less momentous. Returning to its core membership of vocalist/creative director Zac Pennington, multi-instrumentalist Rachael Jensen, and producer/arranger Jherek Bischoff—along with newcomer Freddy Ruppert (Former Ghosts)—the group set about a path that they have heretofore never really charted: that of sonic restraint. And though the results could scarcely be called subtle, the language of Privilege is direct and unambiguous--a new creative candor that's felt in both its words and music. It's Parenthetical Girls in fighting trim, and the difference is both immediate and undeniable.
The group continues this ambitious experiment with Privilege, pt II: The Past, Imperfect—a harrowing and bombastic four-song suite of class warfare, transgression, sexual politics, and gleeful infidelities. Each is immediately palpable in opener “The Common Touch,” with Pennington reprising his familiar role of the deplorable protagonist in a malicious game of class and carnal contempt. “Weaknesses” follows, beginning with a sweet and sumptuous red herring before ceding to tale of sexual and emotional duplicity. Lead single “Young Throats” finds the group at their most powerfully perverse, while “Present Perfect (An Epithalamium)”—with it’s howling refrain of “We all salivate when the bells ring”—reminds us that, in spite of ourselves, our pasts are never too far behind us. Together, they comprise a bold, strikingly cohesive pop clarion call that further solidifies Parenthetical Girls' place amongst the most surprising and uncompromising pop groups at work today. And there's more where that came from.