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We Appreciate You

The Plastic Constellations

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Album Review

Back in the late '70s when art rock first reared its rumpled head, critical opinion was split. "Sheer genius," raved the young guns at NME; "Bloody racket" snorted back the older, greyer heads at Sounds, "they can't even be bothered to write a proper tune." Which brings us neatly to the Plastic Constellations, who've been plying neo-art punk for over a decade now. With a penchant for juttery, stop-start rhythms and a total disregard for anything resembling a hook, the band's strength lay in their ferocious performances, both on record and stage. But one can only rip up the same ground for so long, and thus, after all these years, the band now turn their pens towards the melodies. Don't worry fans, the bash'em, smash'em set opener "Stay That Way" is proof positive that the Plastic Constellations have lost none of their energy or their fierce need to put a pause between every beat. They're still "burning bright with hope," and have plenty of fire in their guts, as they proudly proclaim on "Flames and Rain," only now they feel secure enough to toss in an anthemic chorus. "Perched on a Porch" boasts an even stronger one, almost ludicrously and perhaps deliberately so. "Disastrophe" is virtually singalong, "Floated Down and Flew Around" positively poppy, while the set closing, clap-happy "So Many Friends" is actually unplugged in places. And yet, for all the dramatic shifts in songwriting, there's no doubt this is still a Plastic Constellations album, not that far removed from the sonics of Crusades. It's the beginning of a whole new chapter for the band, and an enthralling one at that.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Guitarists Jeff Allen and Aaron Mader of the Plastic Constellations met when they were in the seventh grade in Hopkins, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis. The two shared a love of indie rock and naturally began writing and playing songs together. Two years later, they formed the Plastic Constellations (who would come to be affectionately referred to as the Consties) with drummer Matt Scharenbroich and bassist Jordan Roske. In December of 1997, the band scored a major coup when they were invited to fill...
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We Appreciate You, The Plastic Constellations
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