Birth Control - Plastic People  CD (album) cover


Birth Control


Heavy Prog

3.80 | 95 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Variously bracketed under both the 'krautrock' and 'progressive' tags, Germany's taboo-baiting Birth Control were in fact neither, yet at the same time also both. Starting life with their deliberately-provocative self-titled 1970 debut - an album which came housed in a sleeve designed and shaped to replicate a larger-than-life contraceptive pill - this was a group who really didn't care who they offended or what they said. From the off, they displayed a gritty, bluesy, organ-blessed heavy prog-rock sound, not unlike fellow Germans Frumpy, that featured on both their debut and the excellent follow-up 'Operation', in the process quickly finding themselves a local and enthusiastic audience. Further success would arrive after the release of both 'Hoodoo Man' and the less polished 'Rebirth', yet for 1975's psychedelic-flavoured 'Plastic People' a slight change of direction was evident. Lacking the drilled guitar solos and squealing organs of old, 'Plastic People' introduced a more atmospheric Birth Control sound laden with synthesizers and keyboards galore, the individual songs lacking the fiery rush of their previous outings yet adding a more sophisticated instrumental sheen. Ultimately in would kick-start the group's slow decline into more commercial territory, yet 'Plastic People' was nevertheless one of the finest Birth Control albums, displaying an as-yet-undiscovered technical side perhaps missing from the Hendrix-flecked psych-rock of their initial clutch of albums. This new virtuosity is best displayed on the lush, nine-minute title-track, and even more so on the superb closer 'This Song Is Just For You', a piece that blends a melodic, pink-floyd-tinged hue with surprising lyrical candour and woozy synthesized background to at times thrilling effect. As a result, 'Plastic People' is Birth Control's warmest release, a rich, carefully-layered about- turn for an outfit usually not known for their musical subtlety, and one of the group's must-have albums for curious listeners. Alongside 'Operation' and the rampantly heavy 'Hoodoo Man', this impressive 1975 album is certainly one of Birth Control's best. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |


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