The Plastics have often been written off as an unoriginal rip-off of The Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. Itís a view I held of the band the first few times I saw them but I couldnít deny that I liked something about them.
Shark is their debut album but their second LP, their words, not mine. They staged a coup in getting The Strokes legendary producer Gordon Raphael to fly out and well, produce. My first thought was ‘right, you already sound Stroke-ish, what’s going to happen now?’. The result is surprising. The Plastics are definitely finding their sound. Which results in an album that uncovers many stones in that search. Some stones tend to hide uglies but there are some great songs on this album.
The first stand out track is Unusable Block with its exciting and technical guitar work. Caves and album opener, Jukebox, are crafted for radio and will no doubt find themselves in the charts. Caroline drags on like your great aunt but Late Night Scene wakes you up with a whiff of ska. This track, along with Unusable Block and By Hook or by Crook are tracks that The Plastics seem most comfortable playing. This is The Plastics.
Production-wise, this album is straddling the Drakensberg with the best of them. The experience that Raphael brought with him is evident. The songs translate well onto the stage and I'd say their live show still tops listening to the album in the car. And to me, a good live show is far more important than a slick album, especially in the local market.
The Plastics will be launching Shark at Zulu Jazz Lounge in Durban on 3 September. Click here for details.
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