by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
For all of Austin's new condos and gentrification, the triumphant layer of filth that seems to permeate Austin's punk scene can't be stopped. The live music capital spends a lot of time in the gutter, with a never ending stream of reckless punk bands that mine tingling aggression with a flat out contempt for the culture springing up around them. With so many great bands in a relatively small scene, collaboration is inevitable, and rising up from the grime like a dirty punk phoenix comes Plax, a new band formed from members of Spray Paint, OBN IIIs, and Skeleton (among others). The band's debut album Clean Feeling is anything but; a hard wound and bruising rush of seasick proto-punk and lo-fi brawn.
Built around staggering post-punk rhythms that twist and turn in tight zig-zagging shifts, Plax's debut is a rallying call, a brash and unforgiving record of scathing distortion and bleak sentiment. Forgoing nuance in favor of impenetrable outsider intensity, the band balance brainy tangled chord progressions with near spoken shouts. The music of Clean Feeling is convulsive if not hypnotic on songs like "Night Watch" and the primal dirge of "1X1". Plax shift toward the combustible and propulsive on "What A Waste" and "Location," a venomous song that urges you to "choose a side" amid a stampeding rhythm and steadily melting tempos. Clean Feeling is post-punk's rotten core, a record that spits and shouts in the name of all that's disdainful.
Plax's Clean Feeling is out August 11th via Super Secret Records.