Special People - Plant

8 songs
28:46 minutes
***** ***
(self released)


A short half year after their debut seven inch single, Baltimore noise rockers Special People are back with a cassette tape, limited to hand numbered 100 copies. Although their single gave already a pretty good idea of what to expect, Plant goes further by developing the band’s sound throughout the half hour running time.

One of the band’s guitarist is Alex Strama, founder of the cult indie label MT6, and that by itself should be enough already to give the band credibility. But listening to the eight songs shows you instantly that Special People are truly something special and in my opinion superior to most bands he has released on his label.

Many people remember the year 1992 when grunge became big. Well, everything Special People do goes back to the early days of that genre before it became a success. The two most obvious influences seem to be Mudhoney and L7, so don’t expect anything too subtle. Especially the A-side of the tape gives a great overview of the quartet’s repertoire. The opener Crucial Decision is a primitive three minute rock song with incredibly wild guitars and a bass guitar that never shies away in the background. The shared vocals perfectly fill the gravelly atmosphere. The following Memorial is nearly five minutes long and explores the band’s more sludgy side, feeling as if a steamroller kept rolling all over you. (You) Did What You Wanted sounds exactly like the better material of L7, only from a male perspective, and is the secret hit on the tape. This side ends with Black Mirror which somehow feels like a ballad, although it is light years away from how most people would interpret that term. I even felt reminded a little of Jane’s Addiction, especially due to the vocals.

The B-side continues in the same direction, mixing together the faster and dirtier punk material with sludgy monster tracks, culminating in the concluding six minute epic Truth Decay. Although the tape is limited to 100 copies, you might want to grab a copy because they are truly magnificent hand crafted items, and even if you don’t have a cassette player plugged in anymore (I only have one of those small portable players they sold in the last millennium), you can still purchase it as it comes with an instant digital download of the material. And the cassette can be kept safe as a collectors’ item. The music is definitely worth it, and had it be released more than twenty years ago, it would have helped shaped an entire musical revolution. Today Plant can still be considered a splendid nostalgic journey with the added bonus of having really great songs.

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