Plastiscines: About Love

'About Love' is a suitably energetic LP full of pith and classic-sounding punk in the best traditions of The Stooges (without the danger), The Strokes (without the stupid haircuts) and, fuck, probably a band in 20 years with Telecasters and Jonathan Richman fixations who are named something else starting with S. Plastiscines are at their most believable when they’re grappling around with their garage rock mostly in French; a track like 'Camera' flows in the band’s natural tongue, and then when they do move into English it’s with a deliciously staccato refrain; similarly 'Pas Avec Toi' has an urgency about it that’s lost elsewhere. Katty Besnard’s vocals lie somewhere west of Joan Jett while the band ratchets up and down its power-chorded leather essence. Whilst never pushing at anything remotely resembling a boundary, or intending to, 'About Love' is a straightforward romp through 40 years of stripped-down rock music.
The interesting part about it all is that on repeated listens, layers of production input are revealed; the bang-on backing vocals and dynamics in the arrangements of something like 'Time to Leave' are more consistent with a pop group, and the whiffily-incongruous 60s-flitting, multi-tracked vocal of 'I Am Down Tonight' sounds remarkably like the sort of thing Katy Perry’s producers would want to whack on a B-side sometime. Whether this is a good thing or not, of course, is up for debate. And covering 'You’re No Good' is just asking for trouble, but given that we’re talking 'About Love' here we’re not going to rise to the bait.
Joe Shooman