Plexi Stad


Plexi Stad Siren Dance EP

Antwerp’s PLEXI STAD reinvented themselves so quickly and dramatically in the time since their debut EP last year that it’s a little whiplash-inducing. 2023’s Probation Baby was a fairly nondescript and generic mishmash of loose garage strut and post-egg angularity (think early URANIUM CLUB after a caffeine crash), but if the lean mutant funk of Siren Dance is any indication, these guys must have just recently discovered the CONTORTIONS and seen the light. There’s still remnants of PLEXI STAD version 1.0 in “Returning,” which throws in a few disco beats but otherwise travels in a fairly straight line paralleling dozens of contempo scraggly/shouty bands caught between post-punk and garage (and who are more likely than not based in Australia), but otherwise the tone has changed sharply—“Your Parade” is like a sax-free rewrite of “Contort Yourself,” with some particularly unhinged James Chance-style vocal exhortations and a furiously staccato rhythm, “Stand-By (Stuck On)” is all chicken scratch guitar, elastic bass lines, and rigid beats modeled after prime GANG OF FOUR, and the menacing, elliptical groove of “Siren Dance” echoes caustic Benelux greats like the EX and COÏTUS INT. Hopefully they’ll sit down and stay here a while, rather than it being just another stopover on the way to their next sound.

Plexi Stad Probation Baby EP

It’s interesting to see bands revisit eras of music that led to the aberrant and still notable explosion of radio rock bands in the early ’00s who decided to tap into icons like TELEVISION and the FEELIES rather than, I don’t know, whatever SOUNDGARDEN was obsessed with. It’s a mine still worth digging in, for sure, and the results are often not radio-ready in the way they once were (it even seems quaint to reference radio in the age of streaming, but here we are). PLEXI STAD, from Antwerp, taps into a compellingly angular strain of punk that echoes the aforementioned bands while still sounding vital and punchy. There is sizzle to this steak and some real grit in the production that hooks you into its world of skronky guitar and mobile bass lines. It’s not breaking ground, but rather retreading it in a way that is worth tuning in.