Who: Austin-based quasi-punk band comprised of members of Spray Paint, OBN IIIs, Skeleton and Sweet Talk.
Sound: Clean Feeling may be the best indie-punk album of 2017. Twitchy and heavy in perfect doses.
TFN Final Take: Last year I fell head over heels in love with Austin’s Spray Paint. I started with their 2016 release, Feel the Clamps, and then worked my way through their catalog of no-wave punk. When I saw that PLAX had a former member of Spray Paint, I had to listen. Once song was all it took. I was hooked.
PLAX’s sound is quite dissimilar from Spray Paint. Clean Feeling is spastic and a bit disjointed too, but is a more of a straightforward hardcore/punk sound than Spray Paint. This album is 10 tracks of fast-paced power punk rhythms and unexpected shifts. Singer Victor Ziolkowski’s voice bears a striking similarity to Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage raspy delivery.
Mix those gruff vocals with the furious punk rock rampage and a pinch of unconventional shifts and arrangements and you have a brilliant and insanely catchy LP that soars and never bores. Nine of the 10 tracks clock in under 2 minutes and 30 seconds with the exception being the last track, “Mold.” “Mold” is 7 minutes of pure heaven. A nasty and fidgety rhythm dappled with snarling and anguished vocals all tied together underlying layer of cool synth. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been blasting this on my iPod and as soon as the track finishes, I play it again.
A few weeks ago I thought the debut of the year was a lock with Dove Lady’s album One. Now I am not too sure. Clean Feeling is about as good as you can get.