Begun as a home recording project amongst former childhood friends in the failed mill town of Everett, Washington, USA (a place considerably less romantic than that manipulative phrasing is meant to suggest), the membership of Parenthetical Girls—in mutual disinterest and indifference—quietly chipped away at itself until only one particularly under-qualified member, singer and relative non-musician Zac Pennington, remained. As long on ambition as he was short on musical aptitude, Pennington willed what was little more than a particularly arduous band name into a recording partnership with some of his especially capable acquaintances—namely The Dead Science's Jherek Bischoff and Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart. That partnership became a record called (((GRRRLS))) (2004), released on Pennington's newly-christened vanity label, Slender Means Society.
Soon after Pennington moved to Portland, Parenthetical Girls became something of an actual band—though mostly in the non-committal sense: comprised first of (a much-indebted) Pennington, Bischoff, and Bischoff's Dead Science-mate Sam Mickens, and eventually just Pennington and Mickens. This core trio would ultimately produce Safe As Houses (2006), a record that would go on to a great deal of critical acclaim, and countless flattering—if sometimes greatly overstated—Xiu Xiu comparisons.
Following the release of Safe As Houses, the band fatefully settled on a more stable line-up, adding to its ranks several recent Portland imports in Matt Carlson, Rachael Jensen, and Eddy Crichton—multi-instrumentalists each—whose full-time membership would eventually help to shape Parenthetical Girls in their own respective images. After several lengthy tours in the U.S. and Europe in support of Safe As Houses, the four piece convened to begin preparations for what would prove by leaps and bounds to be the group's most ambitious work to date. Making good use of his fancy degree in composition, Carlson in particular would prove especially pivotal in this pursuit, who - along with Bischoff's long-essential production and arrangement work - would help to realize the Technicolor potential long implicit in the (((GRRRLS)))'s earlier works.
After several months of preparation, the individual tracking of hundreds of instruments, and the exhausting process of making some sense of it all, the group is pleased to finally be welcomed into the world outside of their carefully isolated womb. Entanglements is their birthday gift to you.
Selected Critical Notices for their previous album release Safe As Houses
"...a creepily pretty presentation of female reproductive power as a kind of montrosity: its women are protuberant, seeping, layered apertures. This is the world in which girl-puberty and menstruation are accursed, as opposed to how the onset of male sexuality is usually construed to be heroic." —Pitchforkmedia
"Brutally honest, upfront and totally captivating, Safe As Houses... sounds more like a performance piece than a rock and roll album. This is far more cultured than that. It feels more like a piece of art than a piece of fun. It should be performed in rooms filled with naked statues and giant frescos instead of dingy rock clubs. It should be enjoyed by all of you looking for something new, something fresh and something completely different to what else is out there at the moment."—Incendiary Magazine
"The whole album is terrifying, harrowing, flower-wrought. Get it."—Said the Gramophone
"This isn't easy listening, but it ought to be compulsory."—Las Vegas City Life