Alternative music reviews

Mon Electric Bijou

Songs Made From Plastic Nov 2003

It sounds a bit rough like it was recorded near live, but Songs Made From Plastic benefits from the lo-fi approach because none of the energy of the songs is lost. And there's plenty of energy to play with as Martin S. plays us his songs. There's a relaxed confidence on the album and this shows most of all in the guitar playing that doesn't try to be flash but rocks along setting the mood. It’s the sort of music I wish Chuck Prophet made but he has never quite lived up to my hopes.

Being A Rhino is just guitar, drums and vocal and sets the mood for what follows – overdriven guitar with a bit of lassitude and unexpected melodic touches. Cold Blooded Killer has an outstanding lead guitar melody and lots other guitar work that makes for a great instrumental. Back To Business is a bit of boogie, a bit of Iggy (or rather Bowie impersonating Iggy – nearly as good). Dial R For Raw has samples from Kick Out The Jams by the MC5 (if you haven't grown up listening to that then you’ve had a deprived childhood) and just rambles along in a fascinating re-assessment of our alternative heritage. Sometimes uneven but always interesting, this is an album to make every rhythm guitarist jealous – there’s nothing difficult here but a load of ideas, a good voice, and a talent for making original music.

Dinosaur Jr
Sonic Youth
Bill Callahan
Jeffrey Lewis
Florence & The Machine
Resonance Association
The Roe Family Singers
The Peter Parkers

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