How to capsulate the sound of Plax? They’re a mix of punk, post-punk, and garage. They feature members from OBN IIIs, Spray Paint, and Skeleton, so those influences seep in. You could compare them to Institute, who I do like, but Plax is much better. The songs are largely mid tempo with some jangly guitars, a propulsive bass, and drummer who knows there’s power being economical. “What a Waste” is a killer among killers that takes off right out the gate with the bass up in the mix, pushing the whole affair forward. “Mistake” is somewhat similar, and just as good. I like the confrontational tone of “Location,” but it’s the closer, “Mold,” that has me singing the praises of Plax. It’s a drawn-out song that is heavy in atmosphere. The guitar work is a-f’n number one primo. Great record! –Matt Average (Super Secret, supersecretrecords.com)
Coming out on the Super Secret label (Austin, TX) I had a feeling this’d be some gnarly, over the top stuff and it certainly is. Apparently the band is a supergroup of sorts (I hope someone thinks up another word for a supergroup someday…..I’m gonna head down to the lab and work on it myself) and have been together a little over a year. The solid lineup is Victor from Skeleton and Nosferatu, Michael and Marley from OBN IIIs (Marley is also in Sweet Talk), Chris from Spray Paint and Dikes of Holland and not sure if these four were born in the same hospital at the same time or not but they seem like they’ve been playing together longer than Jagger n’ Richards (Charlie too, can’t leave out Charlie). The songs are what matter here and Clean Feeling is full of the kinda music meant to be played while driving while blindfolded, chasing the cat around the house with the chain saw or driving a golf cart off a cliff. You know you’re gonna get hurt real bad (or worse) so you might as well have fun while doing it. Cut like “Boring Story,” “In a Web,” “Mistake” and “What a Waste” seem to hit that sweet spot right where Solger, the Pagans and the Germs all collide Oh, also vocalist Victor seems like the kinda guy you don’t want to have to deliver any bad news too (and if you do have to make sure you’re inside of a car (and he’s on the outside) so you can put the pedal to the metal and scram before he loses his shit). The name of the band is from the gunk that gets caked on your teeth. Ok, review over, I need a fresh glass of prune juice. I love Plax. www.supersecretrecords.com
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.
by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
For all of Austin’s new condos and gentrification, the triumphant layer of filth that seems to permeate Austin’s punk scene can’t be stopped. The live music capital spends a lot of time in the gutter, with a never ending stream of reckless punk bands that mine tingling aggression with a flat out contempt for the culture springing up around them. With so many great bands in a relatively small scene, collaboration is inevitable, and rising up from the grime like a dirty punk phoenix comes Plax, a new band formed from members of Spray Paint, OBN IIIs, and Skeleton (among others). The band’s debut album Clean Feeling is anything but; a hard wound and bruising rush of seasick proto-punk and lo-fi brawn.
Built around staggering post-punk rhythms that twist and turn in tight zig-zagging shifts, Plax’s debut is a rallying call, a brash and unforgiving record of scathing distortion and bleak sentiment. Forgoing nuance in favor of impenetrable outsider intensity, the band balance brainy tangled chord progressions with near spoken shouts. The music of Clean Feeling is convulsive if not hypnotic on songs like “Night Watch” and the primal dirge of “1X1”. Plax shift toward the combustible and propulsive on “What A Waste” and “Location,” a venomous song that urges you to “choose a side” amid a stampeding rhythm and steadily melting tempos. Clean Feeling is post-punk’s rotten core, a record that spits and shouts in the name of all that’s disdainful.
Plax’s Clean Feeling is out August 11th via Super Secret Records.
Austin, Texas today is more synonymous with condos, trendy eateries and tech bros than with the bustling live music scene that put it on the map in the first place. Yet, if you can look past the skyline you will still find cultural sparks flying at clubs along the city’s Red River Street. Formed just over a year ago during a wild house show in Austin, PLAX features a lineup of Austin musicians responsible for keeping rock and roll and punk alive and well in the capital city. The “outsider punk band” features members of venerable local acts like the OBN III’s, Spray Paint, Skeleton and more. In other words, veterans of a music scene that prides itself on blasting ear drums in beer-soaked clubs and giving zero fucks. PLAX is a clear product of the collective experience of its members, all of whom are on a mission to defy conventional expectations on their new album Clean Feeling, which is out August 11th on Super Secret Records.
Today Glide Magazine is presenting an exclusive first listen to the new album from PLAX. From the explosive chug of album opener “Boring Story”, we are thrown into a beautiful fire of punk mayhem. The songs here are raw and serrated as the members careen back and forth with the kind of intensity that is rarely captured in the studio. This is the kind of music that needs to be cranked up loud and accompanied by a case of Lone Star Beer. Mostly, Clean Feeling is a signal that the gritty punk rock spirit is alive and well in Austin.
In a recent interview with Culture Creature, PLAX bassist Michael Goodwin shared a bit of the story behind the album:
“We released a demo and Chris (guitar) and I added a weird analog synth track we did years prior to PLAX, at the end of the tape and called it ‘Clean Feeling’. When Chris and I made that synth track years prior I was in the midst of a pretty weird time in my life and I liked the juxtaposition of a clean feeling when I was lacking clarity. Also a bit of a logophile and really like the way those 2 words look and sound together.”
Hear a new song from PLAX and read an interview with bassist Michael Goodwin
PLAX is an Austin band featuring members of Skeleton, Nosferatu, Spray Paint, Glassss and OBN IIIs. The band will release its debut LP, Clean Feeling, on Super Secret Records on August 11th. PLAX brings lo-fi grit to its Wire-influenced post-punk growl. PLAX is Victor Ziolkowski (vocals), Marley Jones (drums), Samantha Wendel (guitar), and Michael Goodwin (bass).
Today we’re premiering the Clean Feeling track ‘Not For You.’ Listen here and read an interview with Plax bassist Michael Goodwin below:
Culture Creature: What can you tell me about the inspiration and/or recording process of ‘Not For You’?
Michael Goodwin: Inspiration for the instrumental idea of the song came from Marley (drums) and I listening to Bobby Soxx and Butthole Surfers at practice and wanting to write a mid-tempo song. We all are huge fans of the amazingly weird punk bands that have come from Texas and I feel like that “sound” comes out in this one. The recording was engineered by Ian Rundell and recorded live with the same set up as the other songs on the LP.
How would you describe the Austin music scene?
The music scene is a wide array of genres, which is nice because it isn’t all the same, but “scenes” do fall into a rut sometimes and bands start to sound too similar. However, I do feel fortunate to live in a city where I’ve been able to see some amazing projects and feel inspired.
What was the inspiration for the title ‘Clean Feeling’?
We released a demo and Chris (guitar) and I added a weird analog synth track we did years prior to PLAX at the end of the tape and called it ‘Clean Feeling.’ When Chris and I made that synth track years prior I was in the midst of a pretty weird time in my life and I liked the juxtaposition of a clean feeling when I was lacking clarity. Also a bit of a logophile and really like the way those 2 words look and sound together.
How is PLAX different from other bands you’ve performed in?
PLAX is more of a rhythm-based band that allows the guitar a chance to breathe and change if it chooses to do so and I like that feeling. I’ve never had a band where each performance sounds different up there to me, which makes it more exciting to play.