The Plastic Constellations - Mazatlan (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Plastic Constellations

Mazatlan (2004)


The Plastic Constellations are some pretty big-hitters in Minneapolis, so I was surprised when I learned that they were getting known the whole country over. Pitchfork gave them an 8.5*. And do they deserve it? Hell yes! Why not?

How to describe The Plastic Constellations? Well, poppy, chaotic, fun, and hugely influenced by two things: LifterPuller and hip-hop. Think it sounds goofy? Well, it is, to a certain extent. They're fun! When's the last time you actually listened to a band that was fun? Fuck, the first track on the CD is called "We Came To Play." And I don't think there could be any better opening track to sum up this band.

And that's what you mostly hear about this band when anyone goes to see them live. That they're fun. And that's what is really lacking in most music these days. So many groups just don't have fun. Whatever. I first head this band when I heard the live version of "Beats Like You Stole Something" on the Fireball venue comp. And now it's on this album as a fully recorded song. And it's fucking awesome. I don't know how or why, but all the drums on this album are totally hip-hop-influenced, and they pull of it off smoothly. Like you wouldn't be able to tell unless I told you. And then the half-spoken lyrics seem to hover between Craig Finn and Russell Jones.

The production on this album is a bit too muddled for my tastes, but you get a very raw feeling from it. The ever-changing guitar riffs blend together regardless of how different they are. The drumming is impeccable, and well, sounds live. And in the end, you realize that it just fits this album better than ultra-slick production. And then you realize that The Plastic Constellations are truly unique and kickass.

*sidenote – No, I'm not saying that I listen to this band because Pitchfork reviewed them. I was just surprised that people outside of Minneapolis had heard of them. And no, I don't read Pitchfork regularly, that fact was on a sticker on the album. Now stop bitching like Pitchfork, like I know half of you are going to do, and go listen to this album.