Writing about The
Pasties has proven to be an educational experience. For example,
did you know that if you do a web search on "the pasties"
you will get around 24,000 matches? Furthermore, a large segment
of these web sites dealt with a pie like object called a pasty
that is similar in content to the southern "pot pie"
and seems to be quite popular in the northern Midwest. (Most
of the companies seemed to be located in Michigan.) Why, it was
several pages before I came across the first thing that comes
to my mind when I hear the word "pasty." Which, when
you think of it, is kind of funny that I was that far into the
search when the very first entry on the very first page was for
the website of the band that I was actually researching.
But there was more of an education than this. What I learned
from the Pasties transcends everything I had previously thought
of when someone mentioned "alternative" music to me.
You see, to me, the label "alternative" is all too
often a misnomer. The music that falls under that heading tends
to be very patterned and formula-based and very, very trendy.
Frequently it wears the mark of the beast that is the modern
recording industry, glaring like a neon sign and imbedded on
each and every track. Even more often it insults the intelligence
of the listener with cute little pop hooks, shallow lyrics, and
production glitz. This last reason, more than any, is why I find
myself seeking alternatives to "alternative" music
when I'm in a mood to rock out.
The first thing that I noticed about The Pasties was that
they classify themselves as "alternative." "Joy
of joys," I thought, "one to give a quick listen to
and put in the pile of CD's that I can find nothing redeeming
in." One less review to mess with writing. Platonica
was 2/3's of the way onto the dead pile before it even hit the
CD player. But it did make it into the player...
Allow me to pause here and share with you a little about myself.
Those who know me tend to think of me as a very stubborn individual,
very set in my convictions, not easily swayed. My wife often
rues these "ways" of mine and is inclined to use such
phrases as mule-headed and...well...never mind, let's just stick
with mule-headed, to describe me.
Anyway, as I was saying, Platonica did make it to the
CD player for the requisite one listen before its condemnation
to being merely another lost soul in the world of music reviews.
I half listened at first, focusing my attention to one of those
other "pasty" websites. Then, quite suddenly I found
my attention had shifted from my computer screen to the sounds
emanating from the stereo. Here is where my real education began,
for what I heard was very good rock and roll blasting forth from
my speakers. This was tight, well formulated music. I quickly
fumbled for the booklet inserted in the jewel case, opened it,
and read the lyrics along with singer. These guys weren't insulting
my intelligence with poppy little catch phrases! Quite the opposite.
Both the music and the lyrics seem extremely well thought out
and masterfully assembled, as though they may actually being
trying to appeal to the intelligent, semi-mature listener. What
a refreshing option to the music that is generally labeled "alternative."
This is a really good album!
One thing that can be said for the Pasties, other than the
fact that they can rock, is that they have learned how to get
the listener's attention and then to leave them wanting more.
The alpha-omega of any performance. The first track on Platonica,
the hard rocking and up-tempo "Shameless," grabs the
listener like a steel trap. It showcases the combined talents
of the band lyrically, musically and vocally, and sets the stage
not only for the next track but for the entire record. The album
closes with "Number One," which is my favorite cut.
This tune finds the band extending themselves to creative limits
not normally found in the "pop" world of alternative
music, artfully blending acoustic guitar, cello, and electronic
feedback to create a symphony of sounds custom-made to leave
you wanting more. It is more of a rock anthem than a mere rock
If you are wondering about all the tracks that fall between
"Shameless" and "Number One," you can rest
assured that they are all crafted with the same attention to
detail. The Pasties show themselves to be top-notch musicians,
with a hand for writing and performing some really fiery and
extremely memorable numbers. Great guitar riffs, booming bass
lines, spacey keyboards and superb percussion are combined with
sometimes light-hearted, often insightful lyrics. In a nutshell,
this is one kick-ass band and one really rocking album. I expect
we will be hearing much more from The Pasties for years to come.
*If you want to find out where they are playing, learn more
about the band, or purchase your copy of Platonica, you can get
an eyeful of The Pasties by clicking
You can contact Scott Snidow at: scott-at-rockzilla.net