Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Do You Know About Rock and Roll?

Plasticsoul - Peacock SwaggerBeen sitting on this review for too long now...

The new album from Plasticsoul called Peacock Swagger plays like an educational piece highlighting some of the most interesting aspects of late-era Beatles: variety, surprise, chatter, noise, mystery, melody, innovation. And there is quite a bit of real soul in Plasticsoul.

For me Peacock Swagger's most striking track is Cancer. Lyrically, Steven Wilson makes us feel the pain. "Cut it out; please cut it out" is either a plea to be left alone or a literal request to get that shit outta there. Either way, it hits hard. Even more brilliant though is the backwards guitar, which for me represents just how discordant the disease can be in one's life. It doesn't quite fit, but it's there and you must deal with it. Absolutely brilliant.

No worries, though; this is not at all a bummer of an album. How can it be with an opening track as irresistible as Sentimental Fucks / Life on Other Planets? Try resisting the chiming of Champion Tragic Boy from consuming your brain all day. Go balls out for Cock Rock 101. Feel the spirit of Elliott Smith in My Three Friends. Finally, cleanse yourself with the life-affirming Rainy Season, the perfect antidote for Brandon Schott's award-winning Fire Season. How appropriate, then, that Brandon happens to be a member of Plasticsoul. Brandon keeps good company and has the honor of being involved in two of the best releases of the year (the other being his very own Dandelion).

Peacock Swagger has already hit notable best-of-09 lists and if I bothered to put one together, it would undoubtedly be in a good fight for the toppermost of the poppermost.


Disclaimer: The artist provided a preview copy of the album for consideration of a review. I wouldn't have bothered writing one if it wasn't genuinely as good as it is.

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