Whilst his former Women bandmates as Preoccupations go from whatever the opposite of strength to strength is, Patrick Flegel continues his stranger career. This is a vinyl pressing of his first long form statement from back in 2015 which showcases his eerie spindly take on atmosphere with occasional darts into pop classicism which tend to evaporate into the ether at the first sign of becoming too conventional.
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Imagine if you could match Pat Flegel's songwriting ability with the band of brother Matt's dynamic ability? Nah. It would just be too good.
Pat Flegel (here Cindy Lee) was instrumental in the alarmingly good band Women but while other members went on to goth rock success, Cindy Lee has forged pretty much the most idiosyncratic path possible. No wonder they split up. Cindy Lee is is unique, often unfathomable and sometimes brilliant project. The songs hint at pop classicism but more often or not are hidden under swathes of lo-fi noise or emerge as if ghosts emanating from dusty old buildings. There's something Lynch-ian about the whole enterprise. 'The Last Train's Come and Gone' is like some kind of nightmare with high pitched pleading vocals. In fact Lee's voice is fascinating throughout - she must be speeding it up to reach 'Quit Doing Me Wrong' - it's wobbling quivering tone is quite disconcerting.
But here's the rub - for all my admiration for the path Lee is taking I find myself enjoying not enough of it. Far too much being wilfully difficult for the sake of it . If I've heard one burst of feedback drenched noise in my life I've heard 100 and Lee's songwriting is far too good for her to spend large swathes of the album creating piercing guitar scree. Therefore I'm not quite on board with this 'Lee is a genius' thing. Act of Tenderness like all her records hints at greatness and when it's good it's alarmingly good and an incredible unique sound. Lee has already proved that you can change indie-rock. Cindy Lee is a challenging, idiosyncratic follow up path but only sometimes reaches dizzy heights.
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