24 Aug 2019

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Kitsch - Album Review: Plastic Lives

05 Dec 2014 // A review by Carl Hayman

About 4 months ago, I was listening through my playlist on my phone and I threw on what has previously been my favourite release ever from a Kiwi band The Burning Ground from veteran Kiwi punk rockers Kitsch. This got me thinking about whatever happened to Kitsch? I mean no one has heard anything of them for like 5 years right? 

I got onto Facebook and searched for Kitsch. I found a Facebook page with barely any pictures and a few meagre photos of the band. It was like the once glorious Kitsch had whittled away to nothingness. I clicked the message button and sent through a message ‘hey are you guys still around? If so, are you still playing shows?’ within 3 minutes, I got a message back which got my blood pumping. ‘Yeah bro, keep your eyes peeled, we have something coming out REAL soon’.

This excited me perhaps more than it should – I was checking back on their page daily anticipating some kind of news, and then BOOM! A gig is announced, followed by the release of a single, followed by a brand new album Plastic Lives.

Kitsch have given this new release a quick but justified blurb – “Smashing out pop rock sensibility with a punk rock attitude.”

I had the perfect opportunity to listen to the entire album from start to finish as I was about to hit the road from Auckland to Tauranga on a gig of my own, and what better way to motivate myself than by listening to a brand spanking new album from my favourite band with simplistically effective artwork released under the Elevenfiftyseven records label.

Reading through Kitsch’s background – they have 5 previous releases before Plastic Lives starting in 1998. That is 16 years of impressive pop-punk that has not aged one little bit.

And GO! I hit the play button. What came through the speakers was the unmistakable sound of Sam Icke’s voice which cannot be compared to any other vocalist in the world. Raw, powerful, and perfectly matched to the elite sound of a band that is now unrivalled in their perfect placement of being NZ’s number #1 punk band.

The sound is a much matured Kitsch. Their song writing has matured, their style has matured slightly, but all in a good way. I feel the overall tempo of the album is a little slower than their previous releases, but by all means this is not a negative thing. This is by far the best release Kitsch have put out, and I feel that if they have more up their sleeves, they will continue to break new ground with everything they put out.

The drums are as tight as a tight thing, the guitarist delicately woven into the tune in a timebomb fashion where they are ready to go off at any given moment, and the bass is exactly what it needs to be. Driving, perfectly timed, and it matches the drums like clockwork.

Honestly this review is totally pointless in trying to get you guys to hear what I hear until you click the play button, but once you do, you will understand EXACTLY what I mean. This album is beautifully sick. A honed masterpiece.


About Kitsch

Smashing out pop rock sensibility with a punk rock attitude.

Retaining its core members for over two decades, Kitsch delivered the next phase in their evolution in 2014, an album of epic depths, prepare yourself for Plastic Lives.

Tapping into modern states of mind, internet anonymity and global

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kitsch


Plastic Lives
Year: 2014
Type: Album
The Burning Ground
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Love Songs For Romantic Punks
Year: 2002
Type: Album
The Billy Joel EP
Year: 2000
Type: EP
The Way It Was
Year: 1998
Type: Album

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