Review: Plush – Plush
Pavement Entertainment (October 29th 2021)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Plush are a four piece female rock band who are already making waves with their music, and whose eponymous debut album is being released at the end of October. Moriah Formica is the singer and guitarist, and also writes the songs. Formica’s fellow guitarist is Bella Perron. The bass duties are taken by Ashley Suppa and the drummer is Brooke Colucci. With all four musicians under 21 this is a group with a lot of time on their side. Time to see if their debut album hits the ground running.
Opening track ‘Athena‘ starts with atmospheric guitars which weave in and out of the tune before exploding in a wall of sound that is as heavy as anything I’ve heard this year. Moriah Formica has a voice that drips with power and seems to subdue the guitars and drums as she shows off vocals that send shivers up your spine. The tune itself is reminiscent of early Iron Maiden and loses nothing in the comparison. ‘Champion‘ is built around Brooke Colucci’s fabulous drumming and it gives us a call and response chorus that is going to enhance this blistering track when they play it live. There is a 70s glam rock element to this song that I loved. The Sweet would have been happy with this track. ‘Hate‘ is an uncompromising thrash that unsettles from the start and from the opening bars it lays the anger bare in a way that is unusual in the way it comes across like a confessional. It is without doubt one of the tracks of the year for me, perhaps the best rock track I’ve heard, and quite possibly the track that will become their signature track.
They follow that track with a piledriver called ‘Found a Way‘ which has a thundering bassline from Ashley Suppa. Formica shows a lighter vocal touch on this that just sails over the top of the track with pure unmistakable class. ‘I Don’t Care‘ continues the run of stunning songs with violent drumming from Colucci that will mark her out as a great live soloist when she takes this track on the road. Once again, the vocals are great with some excellent harmonies on the chorus. ‘Sober‘ starts with an atypical softness which immediately makes the listener sit up and take notice. It is a gorgeous ballad on the surface, but once again it is a song that has a really dark side with lyrics that hint at an abusive relationship. It is strong, brave songwriting that is incredibly powerful and in some ways reminds me of My Chemical Romance.
‘Better Off Alone‘ is in no mood to let the album drift for a second. Colucci’s lyrics are just so astute, blistering and empowering. As with Sober, it is a middle finger to a relationship that is poisonous. ‘Sorry‘ is perhaps the aftermath of ‘Better Off Alone‘ as Colucci refuses to accept the apology that is offered as an attempt to get her back on board, and good for her! ‘Why Do I Even Try‘ starts off with a really engaging guitar riff that leads to another song of power and superb lyrics as it takes a swipe at a relationship that is going nowhere but is hard to break free from.
‘Bring Me Down‘ is just a gorgeous song with guitars as good as you could hear anywhere. Once again, the lyrics are empowering and soar as high as the spirit that wrote them. ‘Don’t Say That‘ has a lovely acoustic riff to start with and is as good a rock ballad as you could hear on any album. A thoughtful verse leads into a fist pumping chorus that will light up any concert or festival with phone lights blazing. The penultimate track ‘Will Not Win‘ is a summary of the attitude of Plush, who face down anyone who tries to pigeonhole them or downplay them. Incredible vocals over a driving guitar attack are the match of anything I’ve heard this year in terms of quality. The finale has a huge job to do given the quality of the 12 tracks that preceded it. ‘Walk Away‘ has pretty much the most soulful vocals you could imagine in a rock song as once again they channel the sound and attitude of MCR to great effect. A great finish to a great album.
Every time I have said to myself this year ‘nothing is going to top this album’, something comes along and does top it. I am not going to say this will not be topped as a rock album this year, but make no mistake it is going to have to be an incredible album to do it this time. Take a bow, Plush, you have given us one of the best debut albums in years.