Mon 4th September 2006
Fantaplastic are one of London's newer offerings on the Interesting Metal front. This seven-track EP is their second go at recording, and shows just how much they've grown since their two-track demo earlier in the year.
Track 1 "Radarman" starts off with a deadpan female vocal over a nice slow intro, and then moves into a slightly silly tech bit followed by the chorus proper. It's a right head-nodder, taking you through a number of time signatures, but never once losing definition or a real feeling of intent. "Fielding Treats" is an altogether different proposition, feeling more like Sonic Youth dancing jubilantly on the graves of Circulus, with John and Christina sharing vocal responsibilities. Which is not to say it isn't heavy, because it is. Kev the drummer (aka Kev the guitarist from Among The Missing) gets to show off some tasty chops, and things descend into a yummy bit of hardcore towards the end. "Injokeout" alternates dreamy vocals and hectic noisy bits and wanders into a jerky section which for some reason reminds me of Brummie jazz-emo greats Solway Fifth, and "Carnival" is both heavy and sharp on the ears, with dischords and tuneful bits in equal measure. My neck is starting to hurt from my inability to resist having a good nod. The brilliantly-named "Power-Tan Assassins" careens away, rickety home-made go-kart-style, towards a particularly nasty pile-up at the bottom of the hill. "Ants" starts off like a picnic on a sunny day, and then a spoken monologue turns up like a wasp in the jam. I wanted more nastiness at the end of this song, but in the end, I have to concede that the dynamics of the EP wouldn't be nearly as good without it. The final track, "Libran", combines spiky hardcore, hypnotic verses, deranged lyrics and more of that heaviness that belies the fact that this band has no bass-player.
Live, I've heard Fantaplastic described as a Sonic Youth/Melvins hybrid, and they're certainly heavier at higher volumes, but by recording an EP, they more clearly display the thought and skill that has gone into each song. I used to play in a girl-punk band with Christina, and I'm both proud of what a great player she's turned into and immensely jealous that she's doing something as interesting and 'orrible-sounding as Fantaplastic.
Definitely worth checking out if you like your melodies to suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder.