Thursday, August 11, 2011

Album Review: The Plastic Boots/The Plastic Boots Psychedelically Fierce Blues-Rock Brings the Party

The Plastic Boots keep it down and dirty, fronting a universe recalling Buck Cherry, Black Crowes, Zappa and the Toadies. Rock grows thick and swampy with distorted guitars, B3 organ, electronic funk, bar-rock lyrics and a head-expanding psychadelic groove. It's hyper, bold music for when all you have is smokes, the taste for whiskey and a good night out.

The Chicago four-piece relishes in packing venom and raunch into a caucophony that squeezes parts like party-goers jamming into a small car. Crunchy guitars ooze like fire alarms next to head-banging toms that hit hard while cymbals are fat and brassy. Vocals boogie with Led Zepplin-era aplomb, paying homage to action. Psychadelia is held in check with tight, purposeful solos tucked into the dense sonic arrangements.


There's some space to breathe in “This Ones for All the Bitches”, which showcases the players' chops. Greater than the sum of its parts is dance-infused “Stripper Soul”, held down by keys while guitars grind and twirl. Flexing straight-forward riffs, “Dig That Twang” wears classic blues-rock on its sleeve. The band takes a break from ripping your face off with “Abraham's Falafel,” which reads like an electronica song where the distorted vocal mic becomes one more element in a sound collage; an extended vamp that recalls Zappa's “Help I'm a Rock”.

On their debut LP, The Plastic Boots retain an edgy, tweaked sound that swirls in a trippy telescope and hits like a wrecking ball, handled from the ground up with well-mixed drums. With relentless fervor, songs pack as much punch as possible and lean on groove and excitement rather than verse-chorus formula. Hypnotizing like a burning building, with densely layered parts that push and pull, The Plastic Boots deliver the sonic equivalent of upbeat claustrophobia of a hot party. Disorienting and dynamic, it breaks new ground while staying tight with its roots.

Check out their upcoming show Saturday Sept. 17, 2011 at Elbo Room in Chicago.