Very interesting! That pretty much sums up the listening experience of Professor Pandemonium’s Cabinet of Wonders. Douglas La Ferle is the man behind it all and boy does he have a surprise for you!
The first thing I notice is a Medusa-like figure on the front cover of the CD with very detailed art work. Then…flip the case around and you see the scariest looking mermaid doll, figurine, sculpture or whatever the hell it is just hanging there! I warn you; don’t stare too long at this freakish sight because it might just give you nightmares. You also get a glimpse at the mad scientist himself, Professor Pandemonium, hard at work in his laboratory.
The 16 songs on this record match up well with the unusual images because Cabinet of Wonders is like nothing else I’ve ever heard before. The audio definitely coincides with the visual as the Professor dares to be abruptly different by going way outside the box. Expect the unexpected here as La Ferle aka Professor Pandemonium opens up his bag of tricks and prepares to baffle your mind & senses.
Mission accomplished as I am absolutely bewildered at what I am hearing. The album starts up with a song called “Let Monkeys Rule” that is wildly trippy and truly original. Next up on “Give and Take”, there is actually a bluesy guitar sound that I liked very much. On track three “Pandemonium Ensues”, all I have to say is Tim Burton is calling! Here you are getting a creepy ‘n’ weird circus effect full of oddities & wonder that comes straight out of left field. A similar tone is picked up on song 11 “The Night Weeps” where I can’t help but not think of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’d also like to add that I think Professor P was channeling Beck at times. I picked up on this on installment four “Origami Heart” and also on “X-Ray Eyes” where I heard a very good vocal performance. On song five “Another Love”, the listener is hearing a chant-like number with a heavy percussive presence and a wide vocal range that definitely stands out. Next up we have a nice little acoustic folk number titled “Sir Paul and Rebel John” that actually displays an old-world style. And yes, he is talking about the famous Beatles. Moving along we have “Waves of Darkness” where a mysterious cloud fills the room, relaxes you and puts you into a deep sleep. And note to self, this really didn’t happen to me; it was all for dramatic effect. On track 10 “Bimbo Bambi”, you get a fun song with a fun beat done in a quirky fashion. The record ends on a high note by incorporating catchy vocal harmonies and 50s-style rock. The sound here is contagious on “Lydia” and I honestly would love to hear a whole CD of just this.
I respect Professor Pandemonium for being so diverse in taste, but it’s a little too much for me. I think if Douglas La Ferle calmed it down a bit and focused more on vocal harmonizing and less on eccentricities you would have a much more balanced record. I’m not saying the Professor should lose his wacky ways because that’s what makes him unique but maybe just tame it. Bizarre, kooky and offbeat is all fine and dandy for Professor Pandemonium’s Cabinet of Wonders, but I’d really love to hear more songs like “Lydia”. I do give credit to this artist for being so damn creative and for not being afraid to try something new.
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)[Rating: 2.5/5]