Caribbean Plastic Explosives

The Caribbean are a self-described "experimental pop band,” a term that seems to refer to the fact that their beats change more times than necessary over the course of a track. They play lush, melodic rock with a radio-ready sheen, bloom now and then with an expanding harmony, and fiddle around with gurgling electronic additions. They are a little too eccentric to be lumped in with most alternative pop rock bands, but the union of mainstream accessibility and "experimental” dynamics is an awkward one. On paper they can be easily compared to yuppie weird-punks Dismemberment Plan, but on record the result is quite different. There’s a jaunty thread of acoustic guitar-strumming to give each track a familiar prep-rock kick, while their melodies sit, boil, and burst in lounge-y sweeps, alt-rock interludes and pop choruses. A great deal of effort obviously went into knitting this musical patchwork, but where is its audience? Squares will be alienated by its idiosyncratic tendencies, and eccentrics will be put off by its conventionality. Plastic Explosives has a lot of both — the band just need to surprise us by taking their sound so far that it congeals, or choose a side. (Hometapes)