From grunge to rap-metal -- from Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple to Godflesh -- a lot of alternative rock has thrived on angst and anger. This is true in the U.S. and Europe, and it is true in Latin America (where some rock en español artists are every bit as angst-ridden as their English-speaking counterparts). But alternative rock doesn't necessarily have to be one big angst-fest; some alternative rockers have a relatively optimistic outlook, and there is a fair amount of optimism on the Pasties' debut album, Platonica. That isn't to say that the Pasties are a bunch of mindless pollyannas or that every song on this melodic CD is deliriously happy -- at times lead singer Devon Copley (who produced Platonica with guitarist Eric Casimiro) sings about romantic disappointments and shows that he can be melancholy. But if Platonica is about life's ups and downs, the ups have a slight advantage. While Platonica isn't about frivolous escapism, it isn't one of those life-always-sucks albums either. Copley and his colleagues bring a relatively congenial outlook to the table; "Happy 4 Our Friends," for example, advises listeners that jealousy and envy are not the way to go; if someone has things that you lack, be happy for them instead of making yourself miserable by feeling envious. Or, to put it in hip-hop terminology, "Happy 4 Our Friends" tries to discourage listeners from being player-haters. Throughout Platonica, the Pasties demonstrate that they have good guitar pop instincts. Their melodies are generally appealing and they successfully draw on influences that range from Matthew Sweet to Elvis Costello. Not a five-star masterpiece but certainly decent, Platonica indicates that the Pasties are well worth keeping an eye on.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson