Chicago’s Red Plastic Budha have returned with their first full length album. The band has kept the experimental psychedelic sounds of their previous EP while at the same time given the music a more polished sound. As a result the songs have all the elements of a perfect pop tune while also maintaining an unusual edge.
This album sees the band hone their sound into something more focused and contained. There are still the interesting experimental psychedelic and shoegazer elements that drove their debut EP. However this time round the music feels tighter, more poppy and more slickly produced. There is a range of styles and sounds explored with the music swaying back and forth from polished pop tunes to raw grunge offerings. The result is a collection of very catchy tunes that also have a deep atmospheric background.
The album opens with a smooth indie pop tune Running on empty. Sounding like The Beatles crossed with Ride the tune has all the poppy elements to make it a catchy tune while also having some interesting shoegazy activity going on in the background. Daisy Love has a Syd Barrett vibe to it, sounding bright and cheerful while having a psychedelic edge to it. Solider boy is a heavier rocking track sounding a bit like the Rolling Stones crossed with Yes; the rough and raw energy mixes brilliantly with the cool keyboards to create an unusual but amazing sound. Sad girl is a darker offering with some pretty violins giving it a chilling vibe.
Between stations acts as the half time intermission. With a mix of sirens, train station announcements, backward messages and other weird samples, the track has an eerie but engaging atmosphere to it. King of the Underground blasts the second half of the album open with some loud and distorting riffs sounding like a grungier version of The Zombies. Seahorse has a late-Beatle-esq sound to it armed with some spacey textures and sweet sounds. The album closes with the 7 minute epic influenced Waves. This starts out with an eastern vibe before going off in different directions with a big rock jam in the middle and a Pink Floyd-esq outro.
This is a great collection of songs full of live and charisma. The mix of soft poppy songs and raw grungy tunes work well to complement each other’s styles while the subtle psychedelic vibes in the background allow the songs to all fit together nicely.