There is a point, fairly early on during The Lab Rat, the opening salvo of this latest e.p, when you get to reflect on the how far the man at the centre of all of this has come. At just over a minute in, as the song falls into its stride and, as well as the expected guitar blasts and in your face delivery of old, something new can be seen in the musical weave. Pulsing electronica, textured background washes, underground pop deliveries create a really “of the moment” clash of guitar band swagger and dance floor sensibilities and it is glorious.
Some of the explanation for the development of the sound may be found in the lyrics of the other two tracks, which take more domestic issues as their subject matter. As the nature of life changes and priorities shift maybe the nature of the music changes to reflect this. 12th Week to The Beat takes a much more reflective tone and a traditional form and Wait For Tomorrow channels the chaos of the earlier incarnations of the band into an alt-pop song that is both slick enough for chart interest yet raw enough not to feel like a cynical and commercially driven move.
In the past, Plummie would have been content with a punked up take on modish indie, often sailing a bit to close to the BritPop wind, but essentially a riot of gutter guitars and re-appropriated punk attitudes. It was garage rock for a different age, it was great but it had its limits, especially when compare to what that has since evolved into. Now there is depth, texture and an attention to detail, which comes from taking a more forward-looking stance than a backwards glancing, nostalgic one. Now, a more unique and individual sound is starting to separate itself from the obvious influences of the past. Growing musically (and indeed in reality) isn’t about becoming less exciting, but maybe the trick is to not worry about being big any more and get more satisfaction out of being clever.
On stage the band where fun, unpredictable, confrontational and nothing short of an adrenaline fuelled live rush. And I’m sure they are still all of those things but whereas before the music welt like a wild one-night stand, now you are also more than happy to take it round to meet the parents the following day.