foundations are still there, but it’s the strength of Elizabeth Ezell’s
vocal performances and the richness and sophistication of the band’s
and instrumentation that make “Your Guilty Prize” Plumerai‘s most
and varied work yet.
Love and Mathematics
four years and some EPs after
2007's "Without Number", Plumerai return with "Your Guilty
first heard their "home
again" a couple of years ago and it has been returning as a listening
every now and then.
Ezel's voice makes
every song sound dreamy, dressing up the pain with a strange melancholy.
album is indeed a prize,
a new way to live a sunday evening.
A Silver Home Ghost
Released over 6 months ago, and also a farewell from former singer
Elizabeth Ezell. In fact, she'd already left just after the recordings.
But let's start this story at the beginning, which goes all the way
back to 1994...
...when B.J. Mitchell first met the Newman brothers
Martin (guitar) and James (bass), playing in the Boston, Massachusetts
based band named burMonter, and befriended 'em. Fast forward about a
decade, to the year 2004, when the brothers founded Plumerai in a first
line-up and the goal to mix their influences from '80s Punk (check The
Misfits, Minor Threat), early '90s British Alternative (check the Cure,
Cranes, PJ Harvey) and modern Art-Rock (check Radiohead, Gogol
Bordello) into something that displays Shoegazer guitars, Patti Smith
vocal stylings, tight drumming, and driving bass lines in an
alternative Pop mould. They are signed almost immediately to the Get
Nice Records label, who release the band's debut album that same year.
Several line-up changes eventually resulted in the inclusion of the
aforementioned Ezell into the line-up, and the band signed to Silber
Records. But before the 2006 EP res cogitans was released, Get
Nicestill released a remix EP entitled Illuminated. Both releases were
promoted by a short tour. The band's sophomore album Without Number
followed in 2007, as well as more tours, participation to a couple of
compilations, a split 7-inch (no info on that), 2009's 4-track
Electrical Mess EP (with remixes and live versions)...and something of
a short hiatus (during which they recruited Ben Dicke as their
drummer)...before a return to recording for the Plumerai's 3rd
For Your Guilty Prize the band changed their usual
course of recording at home, and tracked the material in two sessions
at 1867 Recording Studio (formerly a Masonic temple) in Chelsea, MA.
Only then did they bring the recordings home (to Darushka-4) for
overdubs and embellishments, and eventually had it mixed by Wes
Gillespie (where have I heard that name before?) at Roost Factory in
Raleigh, NC before having it mastered at New Alliance in Cambridge, MA.
result is said to be something best resembling the band's live
sound...and frankly, I like...nay, I lóve!!! Because this album (which
was preceded by the late 2010 Empty Grave single featuring the album
tracks “Empty Grave” and 3strike” also has some variety to it
that goes beyond the mere Shoegazer genre. For instance, there's a nice
degree of experimentation in the songs “Painted Faces”, “When You Come
Around”, and album closer “Vacant Eyes II” (classy Ambient fade-out in
the case of the latter), and there's definitely some Jazz elements in
the album's title track. For “A Slower One” the band even opens with
some nice piano additions, and there's even some violin (or such a
sound as possibly generated by keyboard). But what made me sit up and
take care right from the start when I gave the album its first
listening session, is the very specific sigh-moan vocals. I mean,
they're really something you gótta hear! So, with no further ado
(ho...first read out the review), first check what's posted at the
label's website...then go to (www.) plumerai.com, where you can find
30-second samples of all songs the band ever released. However, if
you're into full-length tracks I suggest you visit (www.)
facebook.com/plumeraiband, where you can download several songs for
Loving this means, getting it a good rating, right? You'll
even find me placing Your Guilty Prize in my 2011 year-list! Meanwhile,
as you know, Ezell has left, even moved to the West Coast, and Dicke
followed soon after. But in a stroke of luck the Newman brothers met
and recruited singer Eliza Brown (who'd arrived in the US from Paris
only two months earlier). They immediately started writing new stuff to
match her voice, which is said to be more melodic and occasionally
Jazzy. A follow-up album is already in the making, with new drummer
Mickey Vershbow completing the act. With this freshly reviewed album's
material in mind, I cannot help but being apprehensive of the result,
and it's with some anticipation that I look out to Plumerai's next
~ Concrete Web
anticipated by fans previously earned from releases ‘Res Cogitans’ and
‘Without Number’, Boston four-piece Plumerai strike another effective
post rock result with ‘Your Guilty Pleasure’, their latest on Silber
Reintroducing listeners to Elizabeth Ezell’s sultry vocals,
‘Strike’ brims with delicate brooding and tight guitar & drum
composition, highlighting the level of development and competence the
production levels of the band have reached.
Jaunty and melodic,
‘Spinning Landscape’ floats through the air when listened to, smooth
and orchestrated to perfection, ‘Empty Graves’ following suit but
emphasising a more ethereal, emotive affair with a guitar riff
channelling the Madchester sound which gains props in its own right.
Faces’ provides yet another stand out track, with guitars and drums
playing off the attitude and sensuality of Ezell’s vocal talents,
creating a symbiotic link between singer and musician that other bands
rarely reach. ‘Your Guilty Prize’ adds to the former with a musical
product with such aplomb its surprising to find its cinematic appeal
not being exploited in upcoming films.
Bold in its production,
striking in its composition, ‘Your Guilty Pleasure’ is easily
Plumerai’s best album to date and a fine starting point for anyone who
is a fan of female fronted rock (PJ Harvey, Patti Smith) and who, for
some ungodly reason, haven’t heard of these guys yet.
Go forth and educate thy selves.
~ Michael Byrne, Left Hip
of my favorite ways to discover new music is to go to a concert venue
website and start clicking on the acts I don't know. That's how I
landed at Plumerai who also happens to be a local band that formed in
2004. The song "Spinning Landscapes" is a dizzying number
amplified by the emotive violin that contrasts nicely with the rest of
the rock band. Meanwhile, lead singer Elizabeth Ezell's sultry
vocals--similar to those of Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner-- guide you through
the vertigo on this track. When she sings "all I see before me are
spinning landscapes" the instrumentation paints the picture for you,
it's perfectly executed.
~ New Music Collaborative
is an alternative/rock/postpunk group from Boston that contained one of
the craziest vocals I’ve ever heard: Elizabeth Ezell. This band has a
technically complicated sound – from folk rhythms to gloomy riffs,
sometimes industrial, but definitely magical all the time.
presenting you the 2011 album Your Guilty Prize recorded with
Elizabeth, who unfortunately left the band afterwards. Her place was
taken by Eliza Brown and I really cannot wait to hear what they sound
like after the line-up changes. Other band members are: Martin Newman -
Guitar; James Newman - Bass; Mickey Vershbow - Drums. However, let's
first talk about Your Guilty Prize.
I first heard them several years
ago but most of the music in the shape we can hear it now was then
still in the making. Now I’m finally able to present the album Your
Guilty Prize, released in 2011. A Slower One could easily be featured
in one of David Lynch’s movies, with its creepy atmosphere that I
longed for so much. Avernal (v3) sounds almost positive, the more
powerful parts of the track almost give hope but.. “you’re so far
away…”. And then we move on to Empty Graves – which sounds like The
Cure. You just cannot wait for it to finally build up.
Landscapes – I remember this song in a completely different version. It
already seduced me back then, but this new edition is… absolutely
amazing. So it definitely is my favourite track from this album.
Fortunately for me, I’ve got a remixed version somewhere and if you
tune in to my shows you’ll definitely hear it not once, not twice.
sophisticated sounds, unfortunately, do not happen very often. So if
you love gloomy music with seducing female vocals – not checking it out
would be a big mistake. They seem to have recorded much more than this
and I will do my best to bring it all to ClanBase Radio.
~ Clanbase Radio
I 65daysofstatics che si sposano con i Nouvelle Vague, e li tradiscono
"indie rock/post-punk" etereo, jazzoso, in "When I come around" e
"Spinning Landscape" quasi addirittura neo-vittoriano, psichedelico:
questo (e molto altro ancora) si può dire riguardo al sound dei
Plumerai, in particolare del loro ultimo "Your Guilty Prize".
tanto (ma non troppo) allo stile dark cabaret, che ultimamente
imperversa nella scena alternativa, quanto a quello shoegaze '80,
questi quattro musicisti da Boston fanno capolino tra le nuove band
underground soprattutto grazie alla voce incredibilmente travolgente di
L'album decolla dolcemente, struggentemente, con
"Strike", dando subito prova della bravura non solo dell'elogiatissima
cantante ma di ogni componente del gruppo, e confermando il tutto
sempre più ad ogni brano che segue. Violini, sintetizzatori, chitarre
acustiche ed elettriche, batteria: l'atmosfera è avvolgente
...è davvero difficile commentare ulteriormente.
capacità di elaborare frasi di senso compiuto è totalmente, e
deliziosamente!, distratta da quello che le orecchie stanno ascoltando.
~ Alone Music