Involuntary Memories

Plastic Handgun

572822 Records DK, 2015

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


On first impression, this release by Plastic Handgun (the pseudonym of Toronto-based artist Mark Di Giovanni) does seem a bit intimidating. Firstly, the obvious features such as the album cover, which looks like a sketch from a medical textbook turned into prog-rock album art, which shows definite signs of profoundness. Furthermore, there are the track names, half of which (in addition to the album title) could probably have been taken from the same medical textbook as the cover illustration. Meanwhile, the other half of the song names seem like they could fit right in from some conceited ambient dance record.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Then, there is the music, which doesn’t sell itself very well if sampled as 30-second soundbytes, style; it sounds surreal and is just plain difficult to digest in a brief half-minute window.

The truth, however, is far different. Involuntary Memories is one of those albums that need to be listened in its entirety to be fully enjoyed and understood. The first couple of spins itself reveals how extremely accessible and amiable this record is.

Involuntary Memories mixes elements of dream-pop, shoegazer, and big beat in one psychedelic concoction. The songs have a lot of guitars: some are more rhythmically slower and relaxed, while some of the other guitar-work is layered, melodic, and dreamy tied together by pulsing drum beats, which sometimes pound hard and fast.

With just a handful of numbers having vocals (which are sparse even when they are featured at all), the purely musical nature of this album’s mellow and unconventionally structured cuts certainly seems abstract. At the same time, this is an incredibly easy disc to listen to, which makes it perfect for background music to help find joy in mundane tasks.

But diminishing Involuntary Memories by relegating it to the ignoble “background music” category does not mean that it is meant to be merely neglected playing in the background. It is just that this album strikes the balance between super laidback aspects of chillwave and the super-aggressive nature of synth-driven music too perfectly. Involuntary Memories is certainly an album that’s not to be ignored.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2015 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of 572822 Records DK, and is used for informational purposes only.