Parenthetical Girls, 'Entanglements' (Tomlab)

6
Entanglements
Critical Mass
Label: Tomlab

by Spencer Kornhaber

For anyone too creeped out by the bombast of the average Broadway musical, this Portland, Oregon quartet's third release may serve as a theatrical substitute. A grimly satisfying mix of perversion and symphonic decadence, Entanglements is like an NC-17 production of Atonement repackaged as an I Love Lucy episode: Strings flutter, the characters ham it up zanily, and a 14-year-old ends up impregnated by an older man. Zac Pennington sounds a bit pubescent himself as he sputters the record's bizarre, hard-to-follow story, but the impeccable arrangements, wormy melodies, and jarring carnal imagery get the point across.

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