Plumtree – Mass Teen Fainting

If you are here for gardening advice I’m sorry to disappoint you, please look elsewhere. Otherwise …

Plumtree! Yeah, they’re that band, right? There was a movie or something. Some guy who lived in a comic maybe?

Yeah maybe.

While the majority of people who were vaguely interested in the story behind the movie may have checked out and enjoyed the song “Scott Pilgrim” (which is a pretty awesome slice of almost country inspired indie rock), fewer people would have bothered to delve further into Plumtrees back catalogue and so would have missed their debut “Mass Teen Fainting”. The author of Scott Pilgrim only became a fan of the band after listening to a song from this album, so without it there may have been no Scott Pilgrim Versus The World and the world would be a darker place.

Ok, so the name of the album is I guess a reference to the documented phenomenon of young teenage girls fainting at the sight / sound of their favourite artist (usually beginning in the time of Elvis / Beatlemania and still happening today with tedious regularity). It’s quite a clever title as the band at the time consisted of teenage girls so its like a big knowing wink.

On with the music. I’ll pick out my favourites.

Track 1 – Tropical

An upbeat sounding track with a driving beat. The guitars play some fast repetitive riffs mixed with some complicated sections. We get a Hawaiian style ending which I guess is where the title comes from. The vocals are strong but in typical Plumtree style are actually quite negative in contrast to the music.

Track 3 – Phil Was Always Here

A fast Punk-lite song with repetitive verses and chorus and an oddly fitting 60’s style guitar break.

Track 6 – In The Sink

Another upbeat sounding track. The refrain of “Today, today, today is not my day. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow will be my day” starts us off on a hopeful note and contrasts nicely with the verses which are sung in a fast deadpan style (I love the way she clearly pronounces “Interested”) and are mainly about her worm collection. I think there is even a slight message of gender conformity at the end where she says “I think I’ll get a Barbie instead”. But I could be wrong. I’m a guy right, what do I know?

Track 9 – The Phone, The Phone

A fast rock song with some cool riffs and nice layered vocals that bring to mind the aforementioned “Scott Pilgrim”. As someone who in the past would rather miss a date than face the horrors of actually making a phone call, this hits home hard.

These are my particular favourites but the whole album is an easy listen and worth the time if you are at least a little bit interested in checking them out. They don’t sound like any other band in particular but some of the songs remind me a little of The Breeders in their “Pod” era.

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