Plastic Animals -‘Pictures From The Blackout.’ (Song, By Toad Records)
Well, no-one could accuse Plastic Animals of rushing things. It’s been a number of years since their debut EP A Dark Spring, and finally we get their debut album Pictures From The Blackout. Signed to Edinburgh’s Song, By Toad Records, a label who have put out much fine stuff over the best part of a decade now, it’s important that they found a label who understood what they were doing and gave them time to develop (as opposed to some coked-up London twat sitting their stroking his hipster beard and wondering where the singles were).
So yes, the reality is that Plastic Animals will come under the heading of those artists who take their time (see also: eagleowl, Blue Nile, Stone Roses), rather than those who work at a terrifying rate (see: The Fall, Ty Segall). But the reality is that it has been worth it. In a world drowning with indie by numbers bands devoid of charisma (no wonder so many people fall for ‘pop’ music, which is a whole lot more fun), Plastic Animals show that indie rock does still have some tricks up its sleeve. So while they describe themselves as being ‘atmospheric sludge rock’, there’s hints of shoegazing at its most dreamy, krautrock at its most rocky and least formulaic and most importantly of all, actual, y’know, songs. Each successive play of this album has shown this to be an album I would be pleased to have bought, as the waves of noise, psychedelica and everything else, that kick in right from album opener ‘Ghosts’ and by track three ‘Colophon’ seem to be bringing in a wave of melancholia – and that’s not just the Sunday afternoon slump kicking in.
A debut album for the band to be proud of, then.
…Oh, and how much do I like this album? Put it this way: even though I was sent a copy to review, I’ll be buying a physical copy out of my own pocket. That good.
Pictures From The Blackout is released on Song, By Toad Records on February 8, 2016