Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cassette Review //
I NEED A PLASTIC FACE
"KNICK KNACKS"
(Custom Made Music)


http://custommademusicva.com/release/knick-knacks-cassette/
https://ineedaplasticface.bandcamp.com/album/knick-knacks

Generally I like to type up something about the artist name or the title of the cassette but rarely do I feel the need to comment on both.   I NEED A PLASTIC FACE is a great name to put onto a t-shirt (which passes my band name test in that sense) but also I like it because of a nod to plastic surgery- which it may or may not be but I like to think of it in that sense.   I always thought there should be some deathcore type of band named Botched Facelift but maybe that's just me (or maybe there is, who knows)

I also enjoy the idea of "KNICK KNACKS" because typically they can be thought of as just these weird little things you can put on shelves or in bookcases and they don't really have any other function than to just sit there and look like whatever they are supposed to be.   On some level though, I think that cassettes can be like knick knacks even though they obviously serve a greater purpose (Perhaps the greatest purpose) of playing music, but still, you collect enough of them and someone will see them as knick knacks in your life.

Right away these organ tones come in and I think of bands like Cake and Bad Ronald.    With these distant vocals on the first song, I can't help but also think about this having a bedroom pop feel to it.   As we journey into the second song, "Sick", which is one of my favorites on the cassette (I'd use it as a lead single and all that if I was into such things) there is this eerie, X-Files type of tone to it.   By the end of the first side we hear some weirdo, spoken word type of vibes over guitar notes and, really, from the first song I can tell you I've not heard anything like this before but by the end of Side A it pretty much confirms it.

On the flip side you take that idea of not hearing anything like this before and completely just further prove it.   "Open And Shout" is this grinding song with electronics in it where you are asked more than once "Are you happy?" and by the way I describe it- how it looks on paper as a song- it should resemble Nine Inch Nails but it really doesn't and that's just a testament to how great these songs are, how far they are from what you're used to and what you've heard before.

"Open And Shout" is also only about a minute long and the next two songs are around five minutes each, so that just adds to the overall "I don't know what I NEED A PLASTIC FACE is doing, but I like it".    We go from the trippy synth drone type of rock like early Marilyn Manson or the slower songs of Tora Tora Torrence (There is one from their first album where he keeps asking "Do I really wanna do this?" and I feel it there) and then it dives off into this winding pop rhythm with a snake-charming guitar feel that makes me also feel like LOTR on the last song somehow.

"Somehow You're Happy" seems to be the culmination of weird that I NEED A PLASTIC FACE displays on this cassette.    It starts with this musical part and then as vocals come in it seems to quiet down to a minimal sense where the vocals are isolated.   Once the vocals end, the music comes back and plays us out.   It's just that sense of music/vocals/music as opposed to verse/chorus/verse and, well, again, it's just an example of how I NEED A PLASTIC FACE seems to manipulate the sound of rock music while not sounding like any rock band I've heard before which just means you have to hear this.








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