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PBII - Plastic Soup CD (album) cover





3.87 | 53 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Michel van Wassem (keyboards, vocals), Ronald Brautigam (guitars) and Tom van der Meulen (drums) are all well-known within the progressive scene for being founder members of the mighty Plackband, a highly regarded Dutch group who sadly never reached their full potential. Here they are back together (hence the band name), and they have been joined by Harry den Hartog on bass. It is strange to think that the core of this band started playing together in the Seventies, as this has much more in common with the neo prog scene of the early Nineties, than what was around twenty years earlier. Musically this is an incredibly powerful piece of work, with great performances from all four. Ronald's guitar style is incredibly reminiscent of Alan Morse, and "In The Arms Of A Gemini", in particular, contains some Spock's Beard moments, but there are also strong elements of Galahad and Pendragon as well as more American melodic stylings. This is strong stuff, with some crunching guitars, great over the top keyboard, and a dynamic rhythm section. Harry sometimes provides gentle fretless bass as a counterpoint, while others it is a fretted plectrum-led attack that gives the music a totally different feel.

The vocals for the most part have a slightly harsh edge, they haven't been smoothed out too much, and that is totally in feeling with this concept album, as this is a call to arms about the state of our environment, and what we are doing to our seas. The term "plastic soup" refers to the way that carrier bags react when they are in the sea. Dutch minister Jacqueline Cramer said "I think it's great PBII chose plastic soup as a topic on their new album! The more people know about it, the better!". The longest song, at nearly thirteen minutes, is the title cut and contains the thought provoking lyrics "It's plastic soup, it chokes the oceans, while all of mankind fails, will we ever hear again, the singing of the whales."

Musically and lyrically this is a wonderful piece of work that anyone into melodic or neo prog will get a great deal from. Well worth investigating

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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