I don’t normally have much to say about EPs. There are a few exceptions out there (such as The Deadstation), but most of the time I find EPs to be short, sweet endeavors that just leave me wanting more. Maybe that’s the point. However, the new EP from Plini evokes plenty of words within me, so I thought I’d actually review it. “Sunhead” releases on July 27th, and I think it is worthy of your time.
Plini Roessler-Holgat is Plini, hailing from Australia. Being a solo project, obviously Plini himself does most of the work. On this particular EP, he also has Chris Allison (drums) and Simon Grove (bass); with guest spots from Devesh Dayal (vocals), Anomalie (keys), John Waugh (saxophone), and Tim Miller (guitar). Plini, of course, mainly offers his impressive guitar skills here.
Plini has a knack for creating some of the most deliberate, purposeful guitar licks and tunes in prog today. His guitar work is complex, but you will never hear ridiculous noodling or wankery. He knows that plenty of melody is needed to elevate his already impressive guitar work, so his songs come across as sincere and full of mounting light. He crafts clean, pure songs that feel right and never overstay their welcome by lasting an eternity. Honestly, though, they could possibly last an eternity, and I would never get sick of them: That is a testament to the power and clarity with which Plini composes his songs.
I love the genre title that Plini uses for his music: “world peace”. In many ways, you can literally feel it in the energy and color that he infuses into his songs. Truly, it feels varied, eccentric, and sophisticated; and this EP might be his classiest work yet.
Having only four songs, I’ll run through each track quickly. In my opinion, the last two songs are the best here. “Kind” starts the EP with a meaty central guitar lick that just blows up in your head, beckoning you to immerse yourself into this EP like it were a full album. It lasts for 4 minutes, but it feels like two because of the sheer rush it offers. “Salt + Charcoal” follows and has this subtle contrast going on throughout; pitting roaring bass and fuzzy distortion against the rising swell of incredibly clean finger work. When that swell hits, I’m swept away every time.
The next song changes the tone a bit. “Flâneur”, meaning “lounger”, sounds exactly like its name. It is bluesy and jazzy, with lots of sax and a casual bass atmosphere. I love the electronic accents that throw a twist in there, but I also love the strong lead guitar in the second half that jumbles genres even more. It is also the longest song on this EP, clocking in at 6 minutes, so there is plenty of time for it to progress and grow. Honestly, this song alone makes it worth purchasing this disc. “Sunhead” ends the EP. It feels like you are riding a giant flying turtle in the snow white clouds with the glorious sun enhancing everything to where you feel like you’ve lost your mind in the pure wonder and color of it all. I love the fantastic melody and hopefulness in this title song.
Plini has another winner on his hands. His mysterious presence and thoroughly colorful music refresh my mind, but it is the sincere joy and warmth in his tone that really draw me to hear what he will do next. “Sunhead” is a short experience, like any EP, but it represents a mature work of art as a whole.
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