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The Plastics - Lookout
Sep 09, 2010
Total plays:
45 times
Why do we like this?
When I visited South Africa in 2005, I met two brothers -- Sasha and Pascal Righini -- who were passionate about music. Five years later, I was pleased to find that they had converted their passion into something tangible: not only had they pulled off a win in the Red Bull Radar competition at Rocking the Daises in 2008, but they were on the verge of putting the finishing touches on their first full-length. All that was pending was for Gordon Raphael (of The Strokes) to fly in from somewhere in America to produce the final product. Nine months later, Shark is here to play.

The first time I heard The Plastics I was drunk at a show in downtown Cape Town (though I think they were more drunk than I was). That's often the best way to see a show, and I have hardly seen a crowd as enthused as the one watching them. A few days later, I had the opportunity to hang out in their studio and listen to a few of the developing tracks. I was struck by the contrast between their on-stage performance, and the tight nature of their recorded material. Their sound is distinct and yet undeniably familiar. So what differentiates The Plastics from their two biggest influences, The Strokes and The Arctic Monkeys?

I think the answer lies in the detail. Where the two aforementioned groups aim for simplicity in their lo-fi approach, I find myself frequently and pleasantly surprised by the multiple touch-points and layering in of new elements within each song. Take, for example, the track "Stereo Kids," which features catchy guitar licks and the introduction of acoustic guitar -- something I can't remember having heard with other lo-fi acts (save for perhaps this cover of The Strokes by Metric).

All-in-all I find myself excited by the indie scene in South Africa. While music blogging may not have caught on there yet (blame the bandwidth caps on DSL-only internet access), the fervor around the local scene is something to be reckoned with. The Plastics are undoubtedly running at head of the pack in Cape Town, and while we have yet to see any major indie rock artists come out of South Africa and burst into the worldwide scene (Die Antwoord don't count!), I think these guys stand a good chance. Certainly Gordon Raphael flying out to help them work on their album is testament to that fact!

"Shark" will be available for purchase online shortly, but in the meanwhile you can keep up-to-date on the band by following them on Facebook.
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