Following the release of numerous splits, EPs and singles to critical acclaim, Nottingham’s Plaids have announced the release of their self-titled debut record, which will be out in September on 12” vinyl/download on Art for Blind (IE), Barely Regal Records (UK) and Dingleberry (EU).
Emerging from the same fertile DIY scene that spawned the likes of Hookworms and Joanna Gruesome, Plaids quickly established a name for themselves as much for their relentless work ethic as for the raw intensity of their music. Committing themselves to a relentless schedule of touring and releasing music, which they’ve managed to balance alongside single-handedly running DIY music venue and community space JT Soar, the band already have already released nearly two albums worth of material across a multitude of singles, splits and EPs, despite only having been in existence a mere year and a half.
Eschewing track names for numbers, Plaids early musical offerings were a fairly direct nod to the likes of early Dischord Records bands like Dag Nasty and One Last Wish, broadly falling into the “Revolution Summer” tag - “the name given by some people to the time when hardcore bands slowed down a bit and kind of began inventing a genre that would become known as emo” as Andrew Sacher succinctly put it in his write-up of the band on Brooklyn Vegan last year.
Plaids debut album, however, draws on a much wider sphere of influences, owing as much to 90s space-rock as it does to classic post-hardcore bands like Fugazi and At the Drive In. Recorded in a mere four days at Stuck on a Name Studios (another DIY space in their native Nottingham), the clever arrangement of twisting guitar lines and rolling drums help broaden their musical palate without losing any of the directness and attack of previous recordings.
While not necessarily a concept record per se, the overall theme of “space” (part inspired by hours spent watching Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” on the long drives on their first European tour), ties the whole record together, from the lyrics right down to the album artwork, which features ancient star maps and astrological diagrams. Expanding from their previous focus on personal politics, the songs on the self-titled LP explore philosophical theories of space and our place in the universe, with vocalist Joe C singing on Twenty Three “To see a sky and hold a mirror up to it, your single face reflecting back a perfect fit".