Oakland’s mysterious PHANTOM LIMBS inflicted their psychotic art-goth-punk debut on the world back in 2001- and to celebrate their reunion Alternative Tentacles is proud to reissue “Applied Ignorance” with brand new art by singer Hopeless and the addition of 2 previously unreleased tracks recorded live on KALX Berkeley in 2001!
Prodded by pitchforks to see them, JELLO BIAFRA thought they were the strangest band he had EVER seen at Gilman St. that the crowd went stark raving nuts for.
So how the hell do we describe this? We prefer not comparing them to other bands but we can’t resist comparing them to a cross between the Screamers and Gilbert & Sullivan gone terribly wrong. Eerie, grinding keyboards mixed with driving bass, thundering drums, wall-of-sound guitar and frantic, desperate vocals.
The PHONTOM LIMBS subjected West Coast punk, goth, metal, and indie audiences alike to their psychosis with equal appreciation from the late 90’s thru the mid-00’s. Like a carnival sideshow, The PHONTOM LIMBS thrived equally on the awe and anxiety of the crowd. Their music is a swirling amalgamation of old school punk, deathrock, and no wave mixed with the theatre songs of, say, Kurt Weil. Like so many of the great Alternative Tentacles’ bands, they were a must-see live. Their live shows became stuff of legend with singer Hopeless invariably naked or covered in grease paint, duct tape, wrapping paper or substances of unknown origin. Crowd interaction was mandatory, with Hopeless sometimes going so far as to handcuff himself to unsuspecting fans.
The members of The Phantom Limbs had previously lent their talents to such cult faves as The Boyscouts of Annihilation, Anal Kitties, Scurvy Dogs and Black Ice, and since splitting in the 2000s have created new musical madness with (among others) the Loto Ball Show, Altar De Fey, and Malditos.