27 Sep 2020
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PLUTO - Album Review: IV

13 Nov 2019 // A review by Jason Peters

Before egos ran wild and personalities clashed to derail Pluto or Pipeline Under The Ocean in 2009 they reigned supreme on the local alternative music scene and even hitting the musical jackpot with two killer singles in Dance Stamina and Long White Cross in the mid 2000's. They also released three full-length albums and played a slew of quality live shows and festivals locally and worldwide, but unfortunately it all came unraveled while recording their fourth album.

Fast forward to 2019 and after the discovery of a backup session of that unfinished album that they had ditched a decade earlier, any broken fences or bruised egos were now mended to finish what they started, and it’s a good thing they found a resolution.

Album number four is simply titled IV, but open to audience interpretation, opens with the first single Oh My Lonely, featuring fuzzed-out guitars that cascade over multiple layers of pop vocals in the chorus. This track has a crisp sound that retains maximum groove and it's one of my favs.

Track two Rainbow Blood opens with some frenetic drumming by Michael Franklin-Browne before settling into a sweet groove in the verses, Milan Borich showcases some impressive vocal chops on this one, pop undertones but with an alternative overcoat, this track really does hit the spot.

Contact is the next tune and things are bought down a notch with acoustic guitars washing over strings and a very cool bouncy Beatles styled bass line; Contact is a sweet love song, with Milan singing “because being with you is all I can do”.

Lonely Fall reminds me of the excellent NYC band Secret Machines. Bubbling keyboards flourish under the vocals before huge drums crash into kick the tune into gear. I really dig the guitars and fuzzed-out bass on this tune and the production is top-notch, a very cool song.

Hey Sista features a slippery swing groove, horns, and an upbeat vibe - this one will be fun live if they include it in their set. Other stand out tracks are Suzie with its crunchy guitars and poptastic chorus and See Me Gone with its upbeat groove, distorted keys and half time chorus that tells the listener to keep moving on.

Hey Son closes out this very impressive album with a song that reminds me of another excellent Kiwi band - Straitjacket Fits; it's a brooding number that speaks of a son who has lost his way.

To borrow a song title from Michael Franklin-Browne’s other band, it would have been a 'Crying Shame' had this album never seen the light of day. 10 fine songs that took 10 years to resurface but hell, it really is worth the wait.

Fans of this band will be delighted to see that they can still deliver the goods, of note is the terrific production by Jol Mulholland and the band, they’ve done a fantastic job. Sonically this album is a delight, especially when listening on headphones. IV is a cracking album and let’s hope we see album number five sometime soon.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About PLUTO

PLUTO is a New Zealand rock band (mostly) based in Auckland. The group played their first concert together opening for Neil Finn in 2001 and have gone on to support the likes of Duran Duran, Crowded House, Muse, Gomez and The Dandy Warhols. They
performed at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas twice, and made regular appearances at the Big Day Out.

PLUTO’s most successful commercial release to date is their second album, Pipeline Under the Ocean (2005), which went double platinum on the RIA NZ albums chart. The album’s lead single Long White Cross won the 2006 Tui Award for Best Song of the Year. From the same album, Dance Stamina took out the 2006 B-Net Award for Best Song of the Year.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for PLUTO

Releases

IV
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Sunken Water
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Pipeline Under The Ocean
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Redlight Syndrome
Year: 2001
Type: Album
A1 A2
Year: 2000
Type: EP

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