Seven hours ago I received an album in my mailbox. Seven. Let that sink in for a moment. Seven hours ago Chemistry, the debut EP from PLAID BRIXX showed up here. Never do I do something like this. I always sit with new music for a couple days or three listens, whichever comes first before I start writing. Well here it is, SEVEN hours later and I have listened no less than six times. I think it’s safe to say I’m ready to review this bitch, don’t you? And when some of you go to check this band out based on my recommendation you’ll probably be like, “Well THIS isn’t something I’d expect The Maestro to like!” And ordinarily you’d be right. But this EP is so tasty-good I just couldn’t help myself.
Things kick off with title track “Chemistry” that is almost a hybrid of JESUS JONES meets THE SISTERS OF MERCY circa 1991, but with a dollop of 80’s sounds in there. Fast, upbeat, and just a little bit haunting, I was under the spell immediately. “Wanderlust” has more of a guitar-laden sound but with a healthy dose of pop to help it go down even smoother. A grandiose arrangement surrounds you for “Heartbreaker” and I challenge you not to get swept up in its lush melodies.
When I was first asked what I thought about PLAID BRIXX I simply said, “You had me at ‘Hipster Queen’”. This is one of the most cleverly-crafted rock/pop songs I’ve heard in a while and while it takes a not-so-subtle dig at the people I love to hate, hipsters, it also sounds like the protagonist loves her in spite of her predilection for the pretentious. “She only stops for vintage, she knocks back PBR, her glasses don’t have lenses, I wonder where they are”?? GENIUS!! And it’s been in my head all day with no signs of stopping, either. Wrapping things up is “Here I Go Again” which brings in some killer crunchy guitar at certain points to give it just a bit of an edge.
Honestly, I can’t find anything wrong with Chemistry. Not one single thing. Very few bands get it all right on the first try, but PLAID BRIXX certainly did. And they did it by finding that perfect blend of rock, pop, and 80’s new wave. Now excuse me while I go get in listens seven, eight, and nine!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM