Plastic Flowers

Crash Symbols/Inner Ear Records, 2014


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


In these unfortunate times, when the news coming from the media about Greece tends to be far from optimistic, Plastic Flowers might come as a respite, for the music of this Thessaloniki, Greece-based duo is nothing if not hopeful.

On their debut record Evergreen, Giorgos Samaras and Aggelos Pashalidis sound like bright-eyed young dreamers with hearts full of hope and yearning. Their simple pop songs are gentle and laidback, and have an air of geniality. And to those who are not fully captivated by the band’s charisma, there is the added bonus that this duo is so adorably DIY, as my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Evergreen was recorded with two tape recorders and a reel-to-reel analog tape recorder in Thessaloniki. If there is a metaphor for one’s will to dream and try to reach for it during tough times, this is it. At the very least, this adds a layer of frosting to the band’s charm.

Sadly however, when the rubber meets the road, the actual songs are not quite as charming as the duo itself. Its atmospheric dreampop music isn’t anything special, especially in this current indie scene, which has no lack of similarly-themed acts. Evergreen breaks no new ground – and at the same time doesn’t do that good of a job exploring old ones either. The more synth-driven cuts on this album have a sound that is somewhat derivative of eighties bands like The Ocean Blue, which itself was a derivate band in its heyday. But while The Ocean Blue made some great music from the ideas it copied, Plastic Flowers does not.

Elements of the band’s DIY “inexperienced” spirit like the hissing analogue sounds and the general reticence in the songs add a lovable touch to Evergreen. But on the more folk-leaning tracks like “Summertime Pop,”  “Silence,” and “Love Is Above All” – in addition to the three “filler” instrumentals “Open Space” (parts 1 & 2) and “Anthems” – the band sounds irritatingly shy, especially the vocals, which sound ironically befitting when they sing the words “A lack of motivation in my head” on “Love Is Above All.” It adds up to insufferable coyness.

Evergreen will surely find plenty of supporters; but only among those who are already crazy for this genre and are only too eager to lap up any new music that comes out of it. But to sell this type of DIY dreampop indie music to newcomers, this album certainly won’t do.

Rating: C-

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© 2014 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 Crash Symbols/Inner Ear Records, and is used for informational purposes only.