Review Summary: Pressing CHON for market share with a top notch upbeat math rock product
I want to have a million little deep things to say about Le Grand and Plastic Jazz
, because it's just such a wonderful little record full of intricate moments and melodies tied up into a tight bundle. The conciseness on Plastic Jazz
alone is immediately appreciable in the space between progressive rock and math rock where unchecked musical proficiency often gives way to grandiosity. Instead, the Kansas City quintet come across more as a less video game-y CHON (despite the title of opener "Button Mashing") with swerve - and even some wobble - on tracks like the wah heavy "This Shirt Feels Backwards Both Ways."
The energy on Plastic Jazz
is almost entirely upbeat, dotted with jazzy melancholy in only the way a few pinches of spice cuts the sweetness in desserts to create a truly a gourmet touch. And though it's full of moments showcasing each player's prowess, the band are wise never to take things over the edge, allowing theme to dictate the flow of each song. Again, it's a subtlety lost on many instrumental endeavors, but this thematic focus, combined with the standard runtimes of each track on the 6 track EP - none less than 3 minutes and none lasting even 4 - makes the album instantly and easily digestible despite intricacies which can easily keep you coming back for more.
While similarities to CHON are hard to ignore, Le Grand certainly put an impressive product on a table only really dominated by one other band. Considering Plastic Jazz
is their first offering in the world of high-energy upbeat math rock, full of tippy-tap highs scored by frenetic drumming and bubbly lows, I can only hope that Le Grand forge forward and give us more to stupidly grin at as they evolve. And that their tour dates with TTNG this summer give them the exposure needed to put them over the top in terms of visibility and success.