Plastilina EP by Pia Fraus (Review)

Ultimately, only hardcore fans of the band need to pick this up.
Plastilina EP - Pia Fraus

This EP collects the finest tracks, as chosen by Pia Fraus, from their debut release, a limited edition CD-R entitled Wonder What It’s Like that was released in 2001. Listening to Plastilina, it’s not surprising at all that these songs hearken back to the band’s earliest days, as the tracks are fairly rough and unsteady, only occasionally shining forth hints of the future goodness that would arrive with the band’s Clairecords debut, the wonderfully derivative In Solarium.

The EP gets off to a good start with the explosive “Moon Like A Pearl,” and it’s clear that the band’s Lush/Stereolab/My Bloody Valentine homage was in full effect from the get-go. Unfortunately, the EP’s midsection bogs down considerably with songs that are either forgettable or flawed. Sonic-wise, “Obnoxious” and “Summer Before Spring” are solid, nearly aglow with guitar effects and analog synths, stumbling only with the vocals. Kristel Eplik strikes a disaffected, blasé pose on “Obnoxious,” which serves only to highlight the inaneness of the lyrics (never the band’s strong suit, as is the case with many shoegazers).

“Deep Purple Girl,” on the other hand, is a delirious track full of spiraling guitars and the sort of breathy vocal harmonies that proved so affecting on In Solarium. Unfortunately, the band lays a rather grating analog synth pattern over the track’s otherwise lovely chorus, and the airy song just can’t sustain its weight or assault. Things get back on track with “Swim In Eyes,” the EP’s strongest track and clearest harbinger of In Solarium. The EP closes with a hidden “snafu” remix of “Summer Before Spring,” which is still hampered somewhat by the rather unimpressive vocals.

Ultimately, only hardcore fans of the band need to pick this up. It’s an interesting historical document and nothing more, as it’s rather clear that the band has gone on to bigger and better things since then.

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