Yeah, the hype is real on this one.

This is my introduction to glass beach. I was aware of this album prior to its release but I didn't know who these guys are, and what the hell their music sounds like, and honestly, I kinda ignored this release. Of course I got decently intrigued when I saw the high score it's receiving upon release, so I checked it out. And well, It's amazing.

This is glass beach's sophomore album, five long years after their praised debut "the first glass beach album", which from my understanding, was a unique statement in the emo and indie scene from the band. So it seems like the band really took their time on this one, and it's safe to say that the waiting paid off.

Although I haven't heard their debut, I've seen people say that this is a completely different creature than their first album, a whole new vision and sound. And I have no clue what their first album sounds like, but I can guarantee you that this project is certainly one of the most creative and bold ones of the year already, this damn early.

Production-wise, this album is odd as hell, but...In the best way possible. The ambition on this thing is unexplainable, these guys blended multiple genres seamlessly, among art rock, progressive rock, post-hardcore, math rock, and even some power pop. The production is quite bizarre, with intricate rhythms, complex drum patterns, jarring instrumental passages, abstract song structures and odd time signatures. I can definitely see how one can be thrown off by all of the different experimentations throughout the album, but for me, the band executed most of the ideas excellently.

Despite the unpredictable nature of the record, if it's an atmospheric section of dreamy guitar lines, gentle guitar plucks, otherworldly arpeggios and watery synths, followed by a jaw dropping passage of abrasively heavy off-key guitars, harsh screams and noisy keys, or a soothing melody interrupted by dirty electronics and distorted basslines, it seems like everything has its place, and every single passage has hours of planning and thought behind it, which is why this record took five years. The album stays thrilling and engaging with plenty of unexpected moments until the very last second.

I also love how the band managed to keep this thing fairly catchy and addictive despite the album's daring experimentations. You can't deny that there are many infectious hooks, refrains, melodies and rhythms all over the tracklist. And even if it's quite off-putting and dare I say unhinged at times, there is something so hypnotic and immersive within the sound of this album, that it's genuinely hard to skip a song or for some reason turn this thing off.

When it comes to J's vocal performances, they are fantastic. I wonder how people are saying that this album is less energetic than their debut, because even without the production J brought so much personality and urgency to the mix. J is also extremely versatile vocal delivery-wise. Being beautifully melancholic and defeated on tracks such as abyss angel, coelacanth and 200, with a gorgeous high falsetto that is so comforting and sad stimulatingly, while screaming like a psychopath so intensely on songs like slip under the door or commatose.

Thematically this album is actually quite abstract and as bizarre as the sound of it, but it mainly revolves around human relationships, breakup, isolation and paranoia. The songwriting is incredibly cryptic and even slightly mysterious, with plenty of complex metaphors, odd symbolism and weird references, but it can also be heartfelt and even inspiring. I feel like you can write a full assay only on what the album is actually about, peeling back its layers.

I guess that if I had to mention some things I don't like throughout the album, I would say that I wanted more from certain instrumental sections. Maybe some needed to be longer like the climax of whalefall or a tiny bit more heavy and dense like the end of slip under the door (still one of the best of the album tho). So there were a couple of ideas that could've been executed a little better in my opinion, if I really had to nitpick.

But for the most part the tracklist is decently consistent with great tracks, among the immaculate opener coelacanth, the intense slip under the door, the catchy and emotional cul-de-sac, the wonderfully dreary 200 and the undeniable opus of the whole album, the breathtaking and larger than life commatose.

Overall, plastic death is definitely one of the most creative and diverse albums you'll hear this year, from an incredibly talented young band. Full of potent emotions, mind bending production and intriguing concepts.

Favorite: coelacanth, slip under the door, rare animal, cul-de-sac, the CIA, 200, commatose, abyss angel
Least favorite: guitar song

20 Comments
1mo
Amazing review reallyπŸ™πŸ™
1mo
And i think this album is a grower too imo
1mo
@YoavElkayam Thank you so much! And I can see it being a grower because of all its unique elements
1mo
Wow. Your review captures the record so well!
1mo
So far, this is the only album this year that has brought me some level of entertainment… that may not sound like a lot, but I’d say I’m pretty easily made happy with music.
1mo
@SPORK_REVIEWS Omg thank you!!!!

@Missing_Lyriks I agree, I like the new Kali album but this is the first great project of the year.
1mo
actually j uses she/they pronouns! very good review :3
1mo
adding onto that, j uses she/they, the bassist jonas uses they/them, the drummer william uses they/them, and the guitarist layne uses he/him ^_^
1mo
WAIT ALSO I FORGOT, but j prefers not to be addressed by their last name, just by j https://x.com/glassbeachband/status/1748382447971262525?s=20
1mo
THIS SOUND GOOOOD CANT WAIT TO CHECK IT OUT AND INCREDIBLE REVIEW!!
1mo
@ToastedGio Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Thanks bro :)
1mo
barcooper attempt to miss challenge (impossible)
1mo
Great review!
1mo
Really enjoyable review. On first listen now and it is an experience.
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