There has been a bit of noise about this band for a while now so it's great to finally here what the fuss is all about and 'Plum' doesn't disappoint. I hear bits of Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams and even Pink Floyd, all bobbing about in the mix.
Having swollen from a three to a five piece, the band decamped to practice space and gestated. Rather than songs being supplied by Cory Hanson, material was improvised, then fleshed out and negotiated collectively.
This seems to have paid dividends as from scene setting opener "Setting" through to the epic closer "Driving", there is rarely a duff note on this album, other than the clearly deliberate ones. The whole thing is shot through with a worldly wise (if a little weary) sensibility and yet a positive message comes across that we are in it together and we can make things better.
The lead single and titular track is a slightly wonky affair on a bed of hammered bar room piano before "Bee Karma" kicks in and displays its Radiohead influences, perhaps more clearly than at first I thought. "Charles De Gaulle" sounds like Floyd of the Pink variety initially but ends up sounding like the new version of Wand.
"High Rise" intros lo-fi then hits the stereo button. Sounds like a cracking studio jam with cut ups. "White Cat" is a good psych track and packs a punch and then things slow down and take a turn towards MMJ country with "The Trap". "To survive in the end, you have got to pretend, it is worth surviving now", which is a sentiment I find myself concurring with. I really think this should have been the single, it's such a lovely song and seems to anchor the album.
"Ginger" is the shortest track and instrumental before the longest track "Blue Cloud". It drifts all the way down to the sound of a stick and then for the last two minutes or so has a proper good wig out, heavy on the drums. All in all, this might just be the album that takes them into the mainstream and with UK dates coming up at the end of January, now would be a good time to catch them.