I guess it’s a lazy review that starts with a quote from an album’s lyrics, but then it’s too hard to resist in this particular case: this is The Plimptons’ final release, and as such, it is extremely , almost naggingly quotable. Every word and every line is informed by the realization that this is neither the beginning nor the continuation – it is, well, the end. And there’s a moment of near-genius in the chorus of the first song: “there’s no more songs, there’s no more songs, everything we’ve done we have done… (hilarious pause here) wrong”. Priceless.
The Plimptons (I can’t think of too many examples where a name would match the sound so perfectly) were a little known Scottish band that could but didn’t. They played exciting, tongue-in-cheek music of various styles and moods. A little Madness, a little Dickies, a little Pogues, a little everything – in fact, it might have been this maddening diversity that made them so good. Ska, Brit-pop, Celtic punk, pop punk, music hall (I could go on) – all done with great humour and taste, all filtered through this very Glaswegian pop sensibility.
There’s no bitterness or pathetic poignancy about The Plimptons Are Dead. I’m not making any sonic references here, but this is a Terror Twilight-esque swan song. A farewell gift, a collection of four songs that will not set the world on fire, but are nevertheless infectious, heady pop compositions that any fan of the band would cherish. With articulate melodies, playful vibes and even a classy harpsichord break in my favourite song on the EP, ‘Floating Timeline’.
So why didn’t they? After all, they had the talent and they had the songs. Well, obviously not easy to find the right answer, but I guess they just lacked the business-like boredom and the humourless aims that the music industry requires. I could be totally off here, of course, and in any case – they do give us the inevitable, bittersweet “but we did it anyway” message in the EP’s final song. Kind of sad I’m writing this now, when The Plimptons are no more. Because technically, this is not a review – this is a fucking obituary.
Released on 1 April 2013