Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plastic Crimewave Sound "No Wonderland"

"No Wonderland" by Plastic Crimewave Sound

by Jesse Schmitt

Plastic Crimewave Sound is a nightmare. That is what I first thought when listening to their disc, “No Wonderland.” The heavy bass lines, incessant tom toms, screeching guitars, and squealing vocal lines of some tracks made me feel as though I had fallen squarely inside of my worst nightmare.

Everything seemed a little unsettled and it’s no surprise that Plastic Crimewave Sound has had a huge following out of their local Chicago roots for some time. “No Wonderland” is the first CD release from their now long out of print 2006 LP. It’s unnerving, it’s raucous, it’s aggressive, it’s trippy. All in all the Plastic Crimewave Sound “sound” is an unsettled one; shifting, moving, gyrating, pulsating, beating up the wall yet standing still.

Upon first flush of “No Wonderland” you might believe that one of the musical tracks had fallen out. There were minimal vocals on one song, oops, where’d the vocal track go? Perhaps someone had fallen asleep at the sound board and jacked the guitar line way up. Maybe, you’d think, it was your own stereo or headset; maybe that was the problem. No, in fact, this is just these crazy kids doing what it is that they do.

Actually, according to their myspace page, Plastic Crimewave Sound has been delivering “face melting punk since 2001,” so this group has been around for some time. By their own admission they are “psychedelic/punk/minimalist.” This description got me wondering: was that the sound I’d heard on “No Wonderland”?

Maybe. My only contention with this is that they seemed like they knew what they were doing. They seemed like they could be these amazing musicians trapped into this box of psychedelic/punk/minimalism. The first real track on the album (#2 Korean Ghost Ship – the first track is just some hippie breathing into the microphone about “1000 wings open” and “small segmented dreams”…or something) is an epic number which really deserves your ear. On this track the musicians sound like they’re about to blow out, blow up, get going…then they recede. It’s the meandering guitar lines; jingle, jangling all the while. The bass and drums are ready to go; and you can feel it! But then it never happens.

Plastic Crimewave Sound show off their pop sensibilities on tracks like “Rolling Seas” and “Into the Future” and tracks like “Flowers Eating Dreams” return to the psychedelic/minimalist trap they’ve set up for themselves.

I’d love to hear more of what the Plastic Crimewave Sound are playing today; my only fear is that it might sound just like the same ol’ stuff they were playing two years ago – or six!

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