There’s something kind of cool about a band that (almost) nobody has heard of releasing a deluxe edition of a slick and lushly-produced EP complete with a bevy of bonus materials — including, among other things, bonus tracks, a video, a short film, illustrated lyrics, a short story, and a manifesto. It’s the kind of move that another band might have made in another time as it slid comfortably into its imperial phase, that moment of bloat that followed a string of chart-topping albums and signaled a slide into relative obscurity just over the horizon.
But since Plush Gordon is coming from nowhere, their motives appear to be rooted less in a sense of hubris than in a sense of the sheer possibility of the moment — and, it should be noted, less of a desire to cash in on their good name (since a: they don’t have one yet and b: everything in their self-described “internet box” is free) than to establish themselves as artists who want nothing more than to push the envelope not only in terms of music but of what a band can be.
The music on the EP is hard to pin down. The first track, “Silver Nissan,” is part car tune in the vein of early 60s tracks like “409” and “Little Cobra,” and part cartoon in the style of a Merry Melodies animated short. The subject matter sees to the former while a wild, dizzying slide trombone line provided by Aaron Buchanan takes care of the latter. That the song is clearly about a stalker only adds to the mystery, and the only answer to the question posed in the song’s pre-chorus — “Is it weird to follow you?” — is a resounding and likely self-aware “YES!”
Continuing the car theme, the other three tracks on the EP depict motorists in various states of unease: a lost and lonely driver watches the world fall apart behind her in “Rearview,” a similarly lost driver tries to find his way home in “Red Door,” and a down-on-their-luck couple eyes a dreams of a new life in the dramatic closer, “Madrid.” Throughout the proceedings, lush string arrangements bring cinematic flare to all of the tracks, perfectly complementing the impressionistic storytelling of the lyrics.
Other highlights of the “internet box” include a short story that fleshes out some of the details of “Madrid,” and a five-minute film titled “Milk Fudge” (inexplicably attributed to “Team Humanity”), in which three members of the band argue over the nature of candy as they drive toward a rendezvous with a potentially malevolent forest entity named Jerry.
Perhaps most interesting — at least in terms of explaining who Plush Gordon is and what they’re up to — is the band’s manifesto, “Invasion of the Potato People.” And, yes, including a manifesto with a debut collection of songs is admittedly pretentious, but the page of epigrams culled from Laura Dern, Bob Balaban, Manny Farber, Epictetus, and the Mysterious N. Senada speaks directly to what the band is trying to do. Quoting Laura Dern, “If you’re in it for the result, then you can’t experiment, but if you’re there to redefine art, you can do anything.”
Which more or less sums it up for Plush Gordon. They don’t appear to be in it for the result. It’s more of an ongoing experiment. That being the case, there’s a good chance that Plush Gordon can do anything.
After reading the above, I was gonna lead with the following:
“Having done them myself, there’s noting I love better than a fake interview about real stuff.”
But I quickly realized this was far bigger than that. Far bigger than a mere comment to a mere review of a band with a mere manifesto…and I had a lot more to say. So I did something I’ve never done before and whipped up a quick post on something I just read.
So, to wit: https://fpdorchak.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/this-anti-band-doesnt-have-a-lot-to-say/
Fake? FAKE? This is the internet! Everything is true. Everything is real. Everything is a verifiable fact — even the verifiable facts that contradict the other verifiable facts!
Did say “fake”? I meant “constructed.”
I’m not admitting to anything. But if I were, I’d admit to that. And then deny it immediately. In fact, you’re probably onto something. In fiction, well, that’s a-whole-nother ballgame. The real problem is doppelgangers. They keep creeping onto my laptop whenever I turn my back. And by “laptop,” I mean computer. Imagine how hard it would be to actually climb onto the top of my lap when my back is turned. What are these doppelgangers? Olympic gymnasts? Members of Cirque du Soleil? That really flexible guy from Ocean’s 11? Don’t be ridiculous! As I said before, I’m not admitting to anything.
As the doppelganger in question, I have to say that I’m mildly offended by all of this doppelganger-bashing. You speak as if I hatched from some kind of weird cocoon in someone’s basement. Well, the fact is, my friends, that I hatched from an extremely AWESOME cocoon in someone’s attic. So take THAT.