This reviewer is, frankly, a tepid consumer of Punk Rock. That's just the be all end all of it. There are some Punk Rockers out there that shiver me to my very soul, but that list is very short.
You may have noticed the renaissance of punk music here lately. Absolutely Not made it into our vinyl reviews and American Standards did a great interview for us.
Now today, we have Austin, TX based punk band, PLAX courtesy of the Super Secret Records imprint.
My lack of understanding Punk Music probably goes back to the 70's when Punk and Metal refused to co-exist peacefully. Even when punk and metal joined into thrash...there was still strife. So perhaps, my aversion, my personal prejudice, et al is just in my blood....because it goes a long way back.
Please not that my personal preferences, if you will, have been laid out at the beginning of this post.
For any more of my goings on regarding punk rock, please see my published works with the tag, punk.
My favorite thing about punk rock is the lo-fi attitude to the sound. Most likely that's just kind of like fashion born out of necessity, but it's still something that's lasted lo this many years.
Instead of creating a sound out of millions of pedals and a rig so complex one needs an electrical engineering degree in order to simply hook it up, punk rock often is just this is the guitar I could afford and this is the amp my cousin was willing to sell me for $30.
It would be...disingenuous to say that most punk bands have a tone all of their own, as well as saying many punks bands have their own sound. What, to a punk rock illiterate, they need, is their own feeling.
A good friend told me once that punk rock wasn't music, but a form of expression all of its own. (He's a huge fan for the record.) So, the lo-fi, the cheap equipment, the simple chord progressions, the lack of serious musicianship....all of these things matter less than how the band makes you feel.
PLAX isn't in the upper echelon of punk rock musicians like X, Sonny Vincent, or Iggy Pop and the Stooges, but nor are the in the bottom with The Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Let's put them in the upper middle with acts like Paul Collins.
The songs aren't played at super speed, unless like an idiot you left the turntable on 45 RPM when you put it on...see video below....
Rather than unrestrained anger, PLAX gives us pleas for a better world. At least, that's how this guy hears it. It's hard for me to really explain to you what their music is.
It's angry, but hopeful. Bitter, yet forward thinking. It's simplistic, yet beautiful.
PLAX are a host of contradictions wrapped up in a 33 RPM disc.
This is a Super Secret Records release. The one thing about that is, I know it's a quality, quality package. The disc is immaculate. There's a download code and a nice inlay card.
The sound quality is immaculate, though it can be hard for me to tell when it's punk rock. ("When I tell that joke, I always clarify that I'm just joking," Mitch Hedberg.)
Super Secret Records puts out great music in a great, stripped down package.
Genre: Punk Rock
Label: Super Secret Records