- Glass Beach
Plastic Death: CD
Release date: 19 January, 2024
plastic death - the second album by glass beach - is a follow-up record almost five years in the making. The band’s 2019 debut, aptly titled the first glass beach album, has over the years grown a cult fanbase for its unflinching depiction of queer life as mediated through social media, its oversized ambition, and its scrappy yet adventurous production.
And while it took some time to arrive, plastic death sounds like the logical expansion of all the things that made their first album so special.
Years and years of relentless writing, tinkering demos, cancelled tours and a few lockdowns only strengthen the chaotic core of what makes glass beach’s maximalist approach work so well. Frontperson and primary songwriter J McClendon is joined by lead guitarist Layne Smith, bassist Jonas Newhouse and drummer William White to create something adventurous on each song. Trumpet, trombone, violin, and even marimba dance and bloom alongside the band’s own creative and dextrous instrumentation - a stunning, transformative creation that pulls from indie rock, jazz, prog, hardcore, metal, experimental, and beyond.
Songs like lead single “the CIA,” are examples of the band’s ambitious writing. It’s a dark, dancy, post-punk/jazz hybrid, a coordinated, breathless braid of synth and saturated guitar. Tension and confusion explode into a brutal modern metal climax to close the track, flickering with glitchy production zaps and razor-sharp stops. The artwork of
plastic death is similarly rich with detail, resulting in a bioluminescent, fully-realized double album depicting sprawling scenes where moments of neon brightness shine
momentarily in a dark undersea - a metaphor for the moments of optimism and catharsis glass beach provide on these songs.
“This album is the Pacific garbage patch: cultural trash strewn together seemingly by accident, standing in stark juxtaposition to each other,” says McClendon. plastic death is a complete, uncompromising, playful work of art; every corner and crevice of the record’s 13 tracks, each arrangement and timbre and texture, is alive with intention and possibility.
3. slip under the door
4. guitar song
5. rare animal
9. the killer
10. the CIA
13. abyss angel
- Run For Cover Records
- CD Album