Paul Thompson’s Review of “Spills Out” by Pterodactyl


Artist: Pterodactyl

Album: Spills Out

Critic: Paul Thompson

Publication: Pitchfork, 2012

Writing Disorders: Jargon Palsy, Infectious Punctuation

Word Barf: “Pterodactyl wrest cohesion from calamity by soldiering surefootedly through all these far-flung juxtapositions”



Paul, there’s usually gentle irony when music critics grope albums in their online public diaries, like Ian Cohen writing 1,500 words about an album with “Hurry Up” in the title.  Or something like this:


“…manages to revel in its own clutter.”


I’d invite anyone with a free semester to sort through Paul’s opening paragraph and persuade me it does anything else but that.


Paul, a few months ago I had to listen to an engineer lecture for five hours on the use of stainless steels in nuclear power plant construction.  He managed to make more sense than you.  And from what I salvaged out of your train wreck of an album review, you’re just talking about men hitting drums and strumming strings, not lamellar tearing processes in boilers. Believe it or not, people actually listen to this stuff called music for what’s called fun, or what you might call:


“marching its way directly into your pituitary region”


Ah, but it’s much more complicated than that — stupid me. Like this, for example:


“something of a mid-album mini-suite of thick, woozy psych.”


Paul, I think you could drop the “something of” when you’re being that anally specific. Read this:


Dixon Bainbridge: Upon the ridge I observed something of a rare species of Okapi only seen in the light of the Djibouti moon!


What are you afraid of, Paul? Someone might write you a stern email asserting that this was NOTHING of a mid-album mini-suite of thick, woozy psych? I doubt it, but if that ever does happen, please forward me his contact info.  I want to study him.


But what miffed me most is that underneath this pile of word crap is really just you phoning in an article. Maybe I’m way off the mark, but the following phrases scream, “I really have nothing to say, but I have to not get paid for this article by Thursday afternoon.”


“sometimes smacks of eclectic overextension”


“they’re downplaying their strengths in favor of an experiment”


“…melody’s always fared best when matched to forward motion”


Ohhhhhh…forward motion! I just KNEW the Backward Billies had it wrong. You see Paul, the big reason Pitchfork really corkscrews my bunghole is the way it works like a puppy mill, churning out thousands of words on albums that the writers couldn’t care less about half the time. Couldn’t you just write 10 words about your favorite track and post a link instead of rewriting the Affordable Care Act on an album’s melodies?


I’m old and deranged, so maybe you can help me out since I’m struggling to understand why you even wrote this. Fame? Enjoyment? Posterity? Chicks? Any of that? I think we need to have a Miyagi moment and wax off together because your priorities seem royally screwed up, Paul, whatever they are.


7 thoughts on “Paul Thompson’s Review of “Spills Out” by Pterodactyl

  1. So, you felt the need to lick the catheter clean? This seems much further from what’s “fun” about music than any poorly written album review could possibly be.

  2. “This seems much further from what’s ‘fun’ about music than any poorly written album review could possibly be.”


Comments are closed.