Plasticland

Mink Dress and Other Cats

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An archival release of early singles, formative demos, and unreleased songs from the first recording sessions by this seminal Milwaukee psych band, Mink Dress and Other Cats is a great way to discover (or rediscover) Plasticland. One of the great neo-psych bands of the '80s, the quartet, led by singer/songwriters Glenn Rehse and John Frankovic, was occasionally dismissed as fashion-conscious lightweights due to their sartorial obsessions, but the records themselves are glorious blends of Syd Barrett whimsy; West Coast harmonies (more Peanut Butter Conspiracy than Jefferson Airplane, wisely); and good old-fashioned plane-crash guitar drones, with both a better sense of atmosphere and, most often, more hooks than most of the Californian paisley underground bands. Highlights here include the ringing, Byrdsian "In My Black and White"; the glorious "Mink Dress" (Plasticland's 1981 debut single); and the garage-punky "Office Skills," which resembles the freakier side of the Seeds. As always with this sort of compilation, some of the unreleased tracks had been unreleased for good reason, but overall, this is a solid overview of Plasticland's first three or four years. The disc includes a lengthy band history by Dave Luhrssen and notes on all the songs by Rehse.

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