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PLASTICLAND (Buy CDs by this artist)
Pop! Op Drops EP (Scadillac) 1982
Color Appreciation (Fr. Lolita) 1984
Plasticland (Pink Dust) 1985
Wonder Wonderful Wonderland (Pink Dust) 1985
Salon (Pink Dust) 1987
Confetti (Midnight) 1990
Let's Play Pollyanna EP (Ger. Repulsion) 1990

Following several 7-inch EPs and 45s on their own label, this time-warped psychedelic quartet from Milwaukee (the successor to a legendary band called Arousing Polaris) began issuing wonderful albums of original acid-paisley retro-rock.

Except for two track substitutions, the pink-vinyl Plasticland is the same LP as the French Color Appreciation; both contain all four songs from Pop! Op Drops. Adding two bonus cuts, the cassette of Plasticland contains the whole kit and kaboodle: seventeen slices of droning delight, including a Pretty Things tune and such evocative band creations as "Euphoric Trapdoor Shoes," "Rattail Comb" and "Driving Accident Prone." Wonder Wonderful Wonderland features such giddy items as "Grassland of Reeds and Things," "Processes of the Silverness" and "Fairytale Hysteria." Charming, whimsical, stylish, exciting, witty and utterly entertaining.

Salon puts an even less selfconscious twist on things (although the faint British component in Glenn Rehse's accent argues against that) and displays an easy command of swinging London art-school power pop psychedelia. Armed with a mellotron and other relevant instruments, Plasticland shoots delicious flashes of Manfred Mann, frilly-shirt-era Who and Stones, Yardbirds and Magical Mystery Tour into their creations, making Salon an incisive nostalgia exercise that transcends its basis to stand on its own merits. A remarkably good time.

Confetti presents songs from all of the band's albums (plus a game stab at a section of George Harrison's Wonderwall soundtrack) in churning, stripped-down live versions that attest to the fundamental strength of Plasticland's uncanny melodic sense. Despite inconsistent production, the Let's Play Pollyanna EP (three tracks on 12-inch, four on CD) is a welcome return to the studio, with a rockingly memorable title track (also available in a live rendition on Confetti) and some enjoyably experimental B-sides.

[Ira Robbins / Scott Schinder]
   See also Social Deviants