June 22, 2003

Point Line Plane "Point Line Plane"

Wow. Point Line Plane certainly make quite a racket. Two fellows from Portland, Nathan Carson and Joshua Blanchard, make a loud racket for two guys, but damn if it doesn't sound really, really awesome. Yeah, these guys are following in that wonderful noise-rock tradition, but they do it a little bit differently. In the 80s, Metal bands like Slayer and S.O.D. pioneered the thrash-out genre, and then art-punk weirdos like Black Dice, The Locust, Naked City and Anal Cunt really brought it back to life in the 1990s. While several of these bands are still around, I really can't think of anybody that's doing it quite like Point Line Plane. As for that style, it's not really my thing--just seems like a bunch of RAWRRRRRRR for shock value and as compensation for a lack of musical ability.

See, instead of the full-out band rage, Carson and Blanchard don't really use--or need--guitars for their freak-outs. They opt for the use of keyboards and loops and things of that nature, and in the process, they rock much harder than you'd expect. Blanchard is a screamer (in fact, they sounds like the Screamers), Carson is a pounder, and together these guys are total spazz-outs. In a good way, mind you. Their cascading sheets of minute-long walls of noise are actually danceable; their rhythms are terribly, terribly addictive, and you'll find yourself shakin' yer ass. "8-Bit Graveyard" and "Code: Decode" are the sounds of the new funk, the new new wave, and stand in stark contrast to everything electroclash. All of these songs just flow by, in and out of each other, and I don't think I'm wrong in saying that you really won't bother looking for indvidual songs. Thirteen songs in 33 minutes? Nah, let's not bother with names...let's just GET DOWN.

Point Line Plane--with their weird computers run amuck sound and oddly futuristic-looking artwork--are not a joke; they're something new. And, like new wave pioneers Devo, they're going for a weird look to make you forget about the fact that they're actually challenging you musically. Point Line Plane is a blast of synth-driven fresh air. Are you listening? Or are you too busy banging your head? I hope for the former, but excuse you if you neglect it for the latter. I know that I've totally dug every second of this album, and considering how I don't particularly care for this kind of thing, that speaks volumes in Point Line Plane's favor.

--Joseph Kyle

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