[Photo courtesy of the band and hosted at the band's Facebook page]
I started my musical 2012 off right with a dose of feel-good rock from Brooklyn’s Clear Plastic Masks at the always-welcoming Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. Despite the continuing interest in various forms of bedroom recordings and keyboard-and-loop heavy atmospherics in the Brooklyn scene, there remain a solid cadre of new bands making organic, straight-ahead rock, and CPM fall into that category. The most obvious reference for their bluesy rock sound is The Black Keys, but being a four-man act (Charlie Garmendia on drums, Eddy DuQuesne on bass/keys, Matt Menold guitar/keys and Andrew Katz guitar/keys/vocals), they have a denser, richer sound that also draws from classic acts like Sam and Dave, the Violinaires, and Jimmie Rodgers. The band puts that dense sound – and good humor – to good use in the live setting, cranking out the type of songs that shake asses and sell drinks. It’s not clear whether their new single, “Working Girl”, intends the double-entrendre for that title, but this modern-day version of a blue collar lament makes a good starting point for understanding the band. The song was recorded at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville for a forthcoming 7″ single, which will accompany the band’s self-released, self-titled EP available at their bandcamp page. The band have a relaxed, easy rapport with the crowd and clear enthusiasm for what they’re doing, besides the ability to shred pretty hard – witness the guitar work on “Phoenix is Rising”, streaming below. You can find out for yourself at their next NYC show tomorrow (Tuesday Jan 10) at Union Pool, after which they head on a southward tour that will wind up in New Orleans. Clear Plastic Masks also plan to dive in to recording a full-length record while down South – a good way to immerse themselves in their source material, for sure.
I recorded this set in our usual manner for Mercury, with Schoeps supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from Kevin, the head engineer at the club. The results are outstanding. Enjoy!
Stream “Phoenix is Rising”
Stream “Working Girl”
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Clear Plastic Masks
New York, NY USA
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard + Schoeps MK41>KCY>Naiant littlebox >> Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (mixdown, downsample to 44.1kHz, set fades, tracking, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 Death of Me
03 I’m Free
04 Outcast [Eddie and Ernie]
06 Working Girl
08 Pegasus and Glue
09 Rolling Down A Hill
11 Uncle Chris
12 Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
14 Phoenix Is Rising
15 Baby Come On