A horrible hack

The Plastic Constellations

Let's War

Year Released: 2001
Format: CD
Label: Modern Radio
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Not a bad little indie rock LP here from these . You’d be forgiven from that name for thinking they would be some twinkly emo-pop band, but luckily they saw fit to not fool around with any emo pretense on this record.

The quirky, driving style they exhibit on opening track, “Ditched and Drowned”, straight away will have you thinking of a band such as Braid, or if you want an example from outside of the ‘scene’, the Wrens (sorely under-rated, new LP soon, hurrah!). Slightly mathy rhythms combine with upbeat bounce to make a good opening for the album. Other tracks on here take things in different directions. “Slow Support” bubbles a long with a hint of tension and superbly slack vocals. It then cuts loose at the end, exploding into life all of a sudden. Then there are the boyish charms of the Cap’n Jazz style “Back It Up Now” which bursts with energy and a cool chant of “M-O-V-E-M-E-N-T” at the end. Also, I must mention “The Backseat Drivers” which seemingly is a compilation of various Braid riffs (I could sing Braid lyrics to this at times), but boy does it rock out! One of my favourites on here. Though that award goes to the mighty “Diablo Dastron”, which just lopes around extremely slowly at the start, but picks itself up off the ground and explodes into timely choruses and more, oh so much more. Very Nuzzle-y at times. Actually…

At other times they slow things down, which definitely reminds me of Nuzzle (and the Wrens again), “DC Circuit” swirls into the picture with duelling guitars and strained sung vocals, and a rumbling bassline. One or two of the slower tracks tend to distract the record from it’s path, like the piano and acoustics of “Let It Rumble” (no rumble here!), but hey. And I’ve not quite figured out if the final song, the seemingly jokey title track “Let’s War”, is cool, or awful. I’ll hover somewhere over the fence of indifference I think.

Good solid album, when they are on track, they really do sound great, but the occasional tendency for a mundane slow song stops this record short of greatness. I’d figure if they stick around for long enough, they’ll be on to something.

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