Exclusive Review: Plastic Barricades – “Self-Theories” Album/LP

Bands can be dime-a-dozen, but there is only one Plastic Barricades. And with that briefly brief introduction, we’d like to welcome you to their 2020 full-length LP Self-Theories, a 12-track juggernaut of powerful hooks, wholesome choruses, a vast array of writing techniques and everything else in between. Packed full of dueling riffs, more-than-perfected vocal melodies and a plethora of elements that compliment every measure from each song, Self-Theories is an innovative adventure of tracks with many chapters of twists and turns that encompass moods, energy, subtlety and absolute fascination since the record jumps into action.

Accompanied by a visual music video that opening track “Tunnel” is a wild ride heading toward bright lights at a fast speeds. There are insatiable screams for anthemic-style harmonies, but the vocals still truly hold its own components with the single-tracked vocal melodies and aura. Ambient guitars with measures that put their own use in place like a second vocal melody. The rhythmically subtle bridge leaves plenty of room for multilayered leads and never outdoes itself by any means. But in this case, some backgrounded synths and/or atmospheric edge-of-the sword techniques would really could’ve added some imaginative complexities to the subsequent measures to give it a diverse, giving a wholesome sound that is nostalgic and very indie-oriented. The drum-filled bridge is more solo-driven than just another filler; more of a complementary drive than anything else, really laying out each instrument that surrounds its multifaceted and innovative nature that the unit brings together. An essence of togetherness really brings the cog of the machine together on this one., and is an absolute highlight of this album with stars glowing around it. Watch the video/hear the song and be enchanted:

On this next album’s anchor single “Optimist”, the visceral and tightly-knit tempo’s intricacy is perfect in its execution with the dueling guitars and clearly crisp tones. The echo leads really solidify the heavier melodic tones that compliment the rest of the jammy feel this song encapsulates. The vocals are more story-telling and expressively encase the meanings that the lyrical auras, giving each measure its own chapter. Though not nearly as powerful as the previous’s track’s chorus, you can still hear the same dynamic formula the band utilizes throughout the track’s duration – offering up the same charm and witty structures that give their signature sound a perfect balance between originality and familiarity – just like before. “Labyrinths with open doors for an optimist” is a video featuring 8 houses, 8 cars, plenty of glassware, some benches and trees, a crowd of 300 cast members and around 20 buckets of water. Listen and watch this video while enjoying both the visuals and ear candy:

“One For The Road” is also definitely one for the ears. This visceral track is an ode to the freedom of exploration. Footage filmed in the late 1950s around the US by families with their brand new cutting edge handheld cameras; bringing upgraded cameras to the forefront emulating this era.

Other gems on this record (without videos) have many musical dreamscapes, components and nostalgic touches that really bring brilliant additives. “Don’t Follow Me” has an immensely gorgeous intro with a buildup that could create a type of magic all on its own. The drum additives in this track are also something to truly behold as it ascends into an alt-jammy measurement. “Glaring Screens” is a snappy song with noticeable alt-components with layered vocals that bring modern nostalgia to the visceral forefront. Meanwhile, track “Weightless” has guitar chords with witty upper guitar parts and fabulous a minor key bridge. If Coldplay could write lyrics,“Weightless” would top the charts.

Very few albums with unrelenting talent like Plastic Barricades come through the woodwork. It’s not too alt-indie for indie fans, and not too indie for alt fans. This epic gem has something for everyone.

Listen to the album:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4XMzKbdDQLpa36cYrISsO7?nd=1


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