Saturday, January 24, 2009

pins and panzers by plushgun

I'm terribly split on Plushgun's debut album Pins and Panzers (out 2/17). Conflicted. Torn. As tortured as one can be when voicing opinions on a blog read by roughly seven people. (Keeping it real, folks.) It's not a bad album by any means...if it were it would have already been chucked on my Amoeba pile and we would have been spared this review. In fact, parts of it are downright promising and catchy. It'll be big with the least that seems to be the hope.

Let's start with the good. Musically, this is a project akin to something Jimmy Tamborello might create when hopped up on Redbull during an all night collaborative stint with Final Fantasy's Owen Pallet. In other words, it's freaking catchy. Advanced electro-indie bubble gum pop for adults.

There in lies the problem. This is clearly music for adults. Yet lyrically, the whole Plushgun project has advanced as far as the average tenth-grade girl's Livejournal. The bright side? Every emotion is felt with depth and incontrovertible passion. The dark side? This is a twenty-something man singling about illicit-teen-aged drinking, innocent crushes, and having not one, not two or three...but twenty different pairs of leggings for an outfit (as a metaphor for a personality- shifting friend, of course). Pardon me, but...what?

Where the audience for this? "Adults1" are too busy pretending their crises are played out on a different stage, teens are all locked out of the 21 and over clubs where Plushgun plays. That is, if there are teens. If there's one thing market research has clearly taught us, it's that our nation's youth don't want to hear their struggle voiced by a late 20-something geek-chic synth hero. No, current trends indicate they'd prefer their struggle as written by fifty-year-old men delivered by in hot-topic sized chunks. Dang it, I suddenly feel really old.

Wait. Let's go back a two paragraphs. I know I'm flogging the dead horse here, but the human language is broad and deep, and the best metaphor you can find for the shifting sands of personal identity is...a girl's leggings? This is not unlike the scene in Love and Death when Diane Keaton moans, "He's taken all the beauty in life and condensed it down to that of a small fish!" I think the real tragedy here is how much I want to enjoy Plushgun. So close.

If you're a person who doesn't parse lyrics with the passion of a grad student (or alternately if you're a musically advanced teenage girl) then this might be your new favorite artist. If not, you'll be driven to start rereading old diaries, toying with calling up old high school crushes, and bemoaning the death of your youthful innocence. Either way, it's an experience, right?

1. It baffles me that I've somehow landed in that category.

mp3: "Dancing In a Mindfield" by Plushgun
Mp3: "Just Impolite" by Plushgun


Anonymous said...

I always thought that line was making fun of hipster girls and their infinite supply of American Apparel accessories...

Scott E said...

Agreed. I came to a more brutal conclusion, though.


Anonymous said...

It's cheap Postal Service without half the lyrical talent.

I agree with the tweens comment. This would market well to girls just outgrowing the Jonas Brothers.