PLASTICZOOMS is the new self-titled second album of the band PLASTICZOOMS, formed in 2007, and is made up of band members Sho Asakawa (vocals), Tom Takanashi (guitar and synthesizer), and Jun Yokoe (bass and synthesizer). The album was released on January 11th and consists of 10 hypnotic tracks that will drag you into another world.
The album begins with Frontal Attack, a song that launches its listeners into a space odyssey with its heavy use of synthesizers, which creates a variety of spacey and otherworldly like sounds. The lack of lyrics, and the minimalistic nature of the ones that are present, make for an inviting introduction to the album. Moreover, the eventual inclusion of bass and guitar into the song allows for the listeners to be easily swept away into the rest of the tracks.
Each of the ten tracks is distinctive, shining on their own, but no one song stands out sharply or uncomfortably from the others. PLASTICZOOMS 70s punk, 80s post punk, new wave, and gothic influences can all be felt throughout the album. The different genres not only play well off of each other in all of the songs, but they also blend well together. This also holds true for the mixture of synthesizer, bass and guitar, and vocals found throughout the entirety of the album.
Though the lyrics are sometimes muffled or drowned out by the loud beats of the music surrounding them, the band does not run from using complex English within their songs. That consistent use of complex and compelling English lyrics in all ten of the tracks combined with Sho’s soothing, mesmeric vocals help to tie all of the songs together.
Placement-wise, the arrangement of the tracks in the album is pleasing to the ear. A fast-paced, high energy song or two is followed by a slower, more ambient one. This type of placement does not overwhelm the listener with too much or too little energy, but rather generates a steady flow of it and makes for a smooth listen.
The final song on the album, Breitenbach, uses very little synthesizer in comparison to many of the other tracks and focuses more on the sound of bass, guitar, and vocals. This establishes a very grounded feeling within the listener and guides them from another world back into this one.
PLASTICZOOMS is a strong album. The first song entices its listeners, but more importantly than that, the enticement pays off.
- Frontal Attack
- The Future
- Quite Clearly
- Night and Hurt
- Smoke Motion
- Veiled Eyes