Album of the Week: Clear Plastic Masks’ Being There

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Garage Rock from New York

It’s always refreshing when you stumble upon an album by a band you never heard of and it rocks your socks off. The other day I got to listen to one from a group of Nashville garage rockers by way of New York — Clear Plastic Masks. Their debut album, Being There, is hitting record store shelves and (legal) music download websites all over the globe and I can safely say it’s one of the best releases I’ve heard this year. It’s a tad bit of punk and a touch of old-school soul thrown in a rock & roll sundae, and then you have a rhythmic cherry to put on top to make one hell of an album. It’s ideal for the hopeless romantic who wears their heart on their sleeve, so scream your heart out and get ready for a wild ride.

Andrew Katz’s howls mirror an amalgamation of Iggy Pop and Tom Waits — heart-trembling sounds that will hit you like a wrecking ball to the mind. The drumming from Charlie Garmendia is on point as well; endless amounts of power and vigor pound through each track. Vintage and timeless in its own right, Being There is bound to astound you by not letting up at all in its intensity. Clear Plastic Masks and their brand new debut is definitely going to make sure that rock & roll is here to stay.

And now for my favorite tracks off the album:

Katz starts getting philosophical on “In Case You Forgot” about life realizations and broken hearts, saying that we truly are nothing and everything. The bluesy fuzzification (is that an actual word? Because I don’t care.) of “So Real” pretty much sums up this album in a nutshell — an injection of rock & roll into a musical vein will cure any ills. Getting you high and letting it fly, “Pegasus In Glue” is groovy as hell with infectious riffs and psychedelic tinges. Being There from Clear Plastic Masks is bound to have you in a trance as soon as you press play.

Opening up for Spanish Gold, which features My Morning Jacket’s Patrick Hallahan on drums, at T.T. The Bear’s in Cambridge, Mass., on May 30, Clear Plastic Masks are bound to put on one hell of a show. If you’re in the Boston area, you’d better go. While you’re there, grab a copy of Being There. It will electrify you in a way a police officer’s tazer could never do.

Clear Plastic Masks’ Website:  clearplasticmasks.com

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