Plush are an all-female American quartet that did debut during these hard times of the covid pandemic. Against all odds and despite putting out their album on a label that’s best known for alternative and thrash/hardcore releases, they managed through sheer force of will and relentless touring that also included some very calculated support slots with national acts, to actually make quite a dent in the public’s perception and even enter the billboard charts albeit on some lower position. Still the sheer accomplishment – should not be downplayed, since this is an unlikely event these days.
Based on heavy AF downtuned guitars that spin out meaty riffs, an incredibly tight rhythm section and the secret weapon that is the pint sized, yet insanely evocative and range gifted frontgal, Moriah Formica (who did make some noise on America’s The Voice competition) and the sheer fact that they’re able to compose some really cool and straight to the point tunes, you realize that these gals mean business right from the start. They’re brimful with the potential for great things that this album barely scratches upon.
Opener “Hate” sounds like someone got a Metallica tune and brought in Ann Wilson of Heart to sing, instead of Papa Het and it easily sounds more fresh than what Metallica have done since forever, without wimping out one bit. Nice riff, nice lead, nice vocals, nice everything really! I love it!
“Better off Alone” is hard edged and grungy and relies more on its dynamics, than on sheer heaviness. It’s nice leads and vocal lines permeate it and allow it to even simmer down to a ballad like state, before it goes full circle back into heavier territory. Masterful.
“I Don’t Care” stips things down to a more hard rock vibe, but it’s bass heavy and charged vocals keep things – enticingly groovy and allow it’s chorus to have a mid-era Cult – like amount of catchiness… heck there’s even a nice sing-a-long portion. These gals have arenas in their minds… fo’shure.
“Athena” is another signature tune – actually the first one they released – as a single and it’s an immediately gratifying, cascading waterfall of riffola, which celebrates the female nature and strength… while Athena was a Maiden Warrior and Goddess of Wisdom and Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and all such things, I suppose we’ve seen far worse twists of Mythology (half of Hollywood’s films based on Classic Greek themes). If this riff and chorus were composed back in the 5thh century BC, they’d be considered classic; little difference does it make they were composed less than a year ago. These drip with charisma. Insta-classic without the need for hashtags and all such shenanigans.
“Champion” is staccato and melodic and has a nice chorus that Doro would have killed to have written, however its intro is a little more rhythmical and rap-rock like, than I really like. If you can overlook that, it’s another great song in an album that has little if no filler, at all.
“Sober” is a somber, acoustic piece, the thing you’d call a ballad that gets electrified midway in a way that’s reminiscent of Evanescence and Halestrorm, without losing even a tiny bit of the bands own identity. It’s not a copy, it just climaxes in a somewhat similar way, until it fades away.
“Found a Way” gets things a little more interesting with its rhythmic shifts, managing to compensate for the rest of its components being a little less impressive. Scratch that. The solo is pretty neat. The chorus more average, but not bad in any way. A couple of replays actually, earworm it into being also likeable.
“Sorry” is another softer tune, where what’s in focus is the percussion (for the most part), as well as the vocals (guitar and bass are still there – but not occupying the same space in the mix)… it’s nice, without being a ballad, which would make you wildly sentimental, but it’s still damn good. I mean when MF screams the chorus out, it’s sort of hair-on-the neck raising. But I’m sure that they’ll graduate to writing insanely good ballads one of these days… they’re very close to writing something that in the 80s would have easily topped the billboard… these days… who knows. While not impossible (ie Evanescence) it’s not that likely.
“Why Do I Even Try” is another cool rocker with interestingly legated vocal phrases on the chorus that differentiate it from the rest of the songs, ever so slightly. Nice leads too.
“Bring Me Down” is a more… I dunno bluesy tune, but very modern and rocking at the same time… a likeable hybrid that mixes things that are not necessarily strangers to each other, but infuses it all with a volume and power that feels almost unprecedented.
This album is probably going to be the album of the year for me, in a year that well had a lot of people withholding albums from release, since touring them was not a realistic option, but still… to put it simply, Plush Rocks. No two ways about it. Ladies, you rock my world!