Plastiscines - About Love
We don't really do social upheaval in the UK. In 1968 we were settling down to the first series of Dad's Army while Paris burned with revolution; London town was no place for a street fighting man, but what we lacked in intellectual radicalism we more than made up for in rock n roll terms. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose as they say in Pontyclun, the French are still burning up the bastille while we are burning up the charts. There are exceptions to every rule though and thus we have France's latest export Plastiscines who, last year, laid out their manifesto to The Music Fix. Our ambition, they explained, is to not change anything and, on the basis of this album, mission acheived, they've outdone themselves. We should have been prepared; mainland Europe just doesn't do quality pop music, we only have to look at Eurovison for evidence of that, and while Plastique Bertrand was an amusing confection you can only stretch a joke so far. Air notwithstanding, the reality of giving musical instruments to the French is like handing a cardboard box to a Gorilla, they don't know whether to eat it or wear it as a hat. Much like the malleable clay with which they share a name the Plasticines are bright, colourful and splendid fun but within minutes the inherent weaknesses become apparent and you are left with a ghastly, useless multicoloured mess from which you can never return. Opening track 'I Could Rob You' suggests that we are in the company of a more sophisticated Donnas but recent single 'Barcelona' immediately veers off into Sophie Ellis-Bextor chart bothering terittory before current single Bitch reduces us into fits of giggles with its hamfisted lyrics and Kim Deal pastiche bassline. The album continues in this vein, throwing random darts into alien pop culture in the vain hope that somewhere along the line everything will fall into place. Disappointing.