After bursting onto the ukulele scene with their debut album “Choose Your Own Misadventure“, backed with some knockout performances at various festivals, Plastic Jeezus have now returned to the studio with a 5 track EP (plus bonus track if you buy the CD). Will the wit and uptempo pop song smithery be just as good this time around? My gut feeling is a big fat yes.
Vocals, bass and drums back up a full sounding ukulele strum to give the band their stamp as we kick off into The Ballad Of A Petty Criminal. The track has a narrative opening which, again (see previous review), reminds me of Carter USM. This soon morphs into a bouncing I-V bass line (Aaron) with an enjoyably whimsical slide with some rather natty stick work from the drummer (Dave). Simon’s vocal gleefully rolls alongside and we are firmly secure in the identifiable Plastic Jeezus sound we already know and love.
Moaning With Pleasure isn’t, perhaps thankfully, what you may have assumed, but is a song about the very British tradition of not complaining about bad service at the time. Rather we bottle it up our angst and take comfort in moaning about later. And isn’t this what we love about the band? That droll glance at society, that stand-up comedic view on the quirks of life?
A Father’s Advice dabbles with a terribly catchy reggae beat, bolstered with some subtle Hammond and with a fully fledged and rather adept rhythmic ukulele solo, both performed by Simon. Part Crustacean ends the EP (if you want to know about the bonus track, buy the CD!) with a thumping drum beat and fabulous bass hook. If anything this track is a little further away from the flow and pulse we’re used to but is no less accomplished right down to the popping bubbles and perfectly placed hand claps. In a peculiar way it reminds me of The Specials. Maybe it’s the organ although Simon’s vocal has a slight touch of Terry Hall about it.
In my personal favourite format of the EP with a great cover photograph to boot, this release is another instant winner from these three gutsy lads from Bournemouth. Catchy, clever, cheeky, creative and darn entertaining.