Out of the remnants of other bands Plumrose was born. Apparently the band's sole members are George Thomson (guitar) and Michael Nolen (bass/keys) but have vocalists, drummers and pianists contributing to their release Beside Seasides.
Initially the band recorded eighteen songs and made the wise decision to cut it down to nine for their release. I can’t argue with that and let's be honest having a debut that long would have been a bit overkill. The recording while not quite what you expect from a professional studio fares better than most DIY efforts. When it comes to the music it’s a bit scattered. They play everything from prog rock to ballads that feel like they came right out of the ‘70s. It's an eclectic experience and I think some of it worked well and some of the songs didn't quite reach the finish line.
The band starts really strong with “Come on Up” which is one of the most contemporary sounding songs that can be compared to a band like Franz Ferdinand. It’s jagged, dance worthy tune with a wicked bass line and catchy chorus. It has a lot of energy and I am sure this one brings the crowd to their feet when they play it live.
The second song immediately shifts the energy to a rockabilly/country vibe song that feels homely and warm. It’s another solid song and I thought the vocals sounded great on this song. “It Wasn’t Me” was a personal favorite and seems like a tip of the hat to a ‘70s David Bowie. The ending was pretty glorious and life affirming but didn't go overboard.
The soft ballad “Ghost of a Memory” has a Robert Goulet, late night Vegas lounge type vibe. It wasn’t the best song on the album but may resonant with a certain audience. I preferred the rocking tracks like “Still Smiling” and “The Flood” which is infectious and almost instantly makes whatever you are doing a good time.
Overall, Beside Seasides is a solid listen with only minor mishaps. The songwriting is good sometimes on the verge of great and the delivery is also up there. Recommended.
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