Thursday, 13 February 2014

PLANTAINS/OS NOCTAMBULOS - SPLIT ALBUM REVIEW

Plantains/Os Noctambulos - Split Album (Stolen Body Records) 
Plantains/Os Noctambulos - Split Album

Release Date: 17th February 2014

Right, try and stay with me here: This is a split album for the artists Plantains and Os Noctambulos. One of the artsists, Plantains, has recently changed its names to Heaters. So when I refer to Plantains, I'll be referring to Heaters. Got it? Good. Os Noctambulos haven't changed their name, it's just a mental name.

So, the first half of the album is given over to Michiganites Plantains (that's right, Heaters) with six tracks to impress the listener. 'Northern Blood' and 'Fruit Basket' are the opening salvos full of beautiful, surf-garage guitars and rumbling, rolling drum beats to keep things moving along at a good lick. The brooding cool of 'Wendy' is the sound of the devil's Cadillac approaching through a red mist surrounded by a swarm of Hell's Angels bikes ready to drag race you for your soul. Having said that, 'On The Fence' is a lighter jangly affair which is akin to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in as chirpy a mood as they muster from behind their dark glasses. Nevertheless, it does descend in to a long, squally, Doors-esque internal exploration which, if you close your eyes, sounds exactly like the moment you've ever left any gig or rock club because you've realised you are just too wasted to stay and the bass drum is making you want to puke. 'Beach Blonde' is a snarly, gnarly garage tune with great hooks and a bass line to die for while 'Love Bird' is almost a summer anthem if it wasn't for all the distorted and delay ridden vocals that sound like the last protestations of a twisting soul.

Os Noctambulos are up next with their six tracks to impress and the Parisian combo (albeit fronted by an Englishman) are no slouches. Instrumental opener 'Damaged' is a great dual between organ and guitars as the sound of 60s beach parties is instantly conjured up in the air around me. 'Song For Olivier' and 'Hand In Hand (With The Devil)' are both dripping in super-cool, swagger in and take your woman right off your knee kind of songs that should be played loudly from open top cars during road trips that arrive in Vegas just before the witching hour. The wonderfully named 'Lizard In A Woman's Skin' is all low, twangy guitar notes and organ washes while the up tempo and head bobbing nature of 'One Mistake' is just a beautiful thing - not necessarily original but certainly beautiful. Finishing up with 'You Make Me Mad', the band take a mellower, almost Mersey Beat-esque approach to proceedings that shows off their range a little more.

Neither of these bands are breaking particularly new ground but they do what they do extremely well and I bet the live shows are intensely enjoyable. I bet they're all really, really cool as well. I mean seriously cool.

More information:


Live Dates:

Plantains/Heaters:


21st February - Urban Outfitters, East Lansing

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