The Plymouths

The Plymouths are a Bournemouth based four piece with a sound that skims the edges of retro-rock with definite influences from the past and present. This self-titled release is their debut EP and offers six varied tracks for our listening pleasure.

The opening track ‘Flying’ has an intense Hammond-led introduction with piano stabs and gritty guitars. It slips down into a relaxed verse with a funky bass run and an occasional piano chord. There is a substantial wait before a return to the energy of the intro and then it’s all over. Certainly no pop-formula structures here!

‘Sing Like a Woman’ is not just a possible motivational phrase that Justin Hawkins’s manager might quote, it’s also a little rocky number with fuzzy guitars. The Hammond sound sits a bit further into the background, leaving the guitars to lead. The vocal floats clearly above.

Third track, ‘Angel Face’, is midway between the two preceding tracks. It has the guitar work and style of ‘Sing Like a Woman’, and the low-down verse sound that was the feature of ‘Flying’. The vocal could have been a bit more gutsy for the chorus as it doesn’t quite grab the melody by the throat, but this is the first and only time on the record that the vocals don’t do exactly what they should.

‘Suicide Leaps’ sounds like a remix with lot’s of loops. This represents the ideas that Placebo had when they wrote ‘Pure Morning’ but with the sound of retro rock and disco creeping into the guitars, keys, and vocal.

The Plymouths switch back to rock for ‘I Know’, which is a great track, full of pure seventies rock reference material. The tempo change for the chorus provides an excellent forum for the drums to smack out an excellent roll leading you back into the train-track of a triplet beat.

‘Innocent Child’ has a slow build up that sees the song getting a little bit fuller in every one of the first 5 minutes with the last 60 seconds being reserved for a complete break-down back to the quietness of the introduction.

This is a really good effort from The Plymouths with plenty of good ideas as well as some unusual one’s, which all seem to work well. The addition of ‘Suicide Leaps’ was a vital decision as it creates a break in the flow of the other songs which, while individual in their own right, are not entirely dissimilar to each other.

Smith
Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.