The Sugarplastic


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Reappearing four years after their ill-fated major-label release, Bang! The Earth Is Round, the Sugarplastic released their third album, 2000's Resin, on their own Escape Artist label. The album title and song titles like "Funny Cigarettes" suggest that the L.A. trio is taking at least some of their inspiration from the THC-soaked psych-pop of the late '60s, and a cursory listen confirms it. Far trippier than their new wave-inspired early work, Resin is (to continue the XTC comparisons that will probably forever dog this band) more in the spirit of the Dukes of Stratosphear records than Black Sea. The 17 brief songs (some barely a minute long) range from the blaring "Big World" to the just plain odd "Ben Takes a Walk to Lose Company and on the Way He Sees Some Ice Skaters," and a new set of influences, from Syd Barrett to Brian Eno, are apparent. In a further break with the past, bassist Kiara Geller contributes several tracks (guitarist Ben Eshbach had previously been the sole songwriter), with his Kinks-like "Novelty Man" a particular highlight. Producer Andy Metcalfe, formerly of the Soft Boys and Squeeze, gives the album a suitably lysergic feel without sacrificing the duo's essential pop appeal.

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