Founded, headed, and produced by Gerald Jennings (ISI Studios), Plastic Yellow Band is the lifeblood of the “New Classic Rock” genre. Following in the footsteps of Plastic Ono Band, Plastic Yellow Band invites musicians to join Jennings for individual tracks. The debut album Breathe Air relies on mostly on acoustic or electric guitar, piano, and vocals, but includes an array of complimentary instruments. The album released this March and was nearly entirely recorded and mastered by Jennings himself. Does Plastic Yellow Band breath air into the current world of music fail to get the blood pumping?
Pulling inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s, Plastic Yellow Band relies on compositions and live music playing coming directly from musicians. It is obvious after a short listen that Jennings has taken a lot inspiration from Pink Floyd, John Lennon, and Porcupine Tree. The sentimentality Jennings has is something rooted deep within Breathe Air. The very first track on the album, Lonely Place demonstrates that immediately with a heartfelt piano and vocal introduction. Other examples on the album include Climate Change and I Want to Feel Your Love.
Getting more into the classic rock feel, the track She’s My Woman and Sunlight I spend less time with piano and more with drums and electric guitar, the combo is natural under Jennings direction. After Climate Change the album sculpts its final message through the length of three tracks, Sunlight I, Sunlight II, and Sunlight III. The three tracks clearly represent the musical cravings that inspire Jennings. With so much time and attention, Breath Air has a polished and impressive conclusion.
“My heart begins to ache when I look across your wilderness.”
Plastic Yellow Band has the makings of success, front man Gerald Jennings sold his financial services business he had created to form ISI Studios. The music production and quality demonstrated across the span of Breathe Air is impressively polished, each participant can be heard soundly. As an additional length of dedication, the PYB website contains videos to play along with to help newer musicians; truly a labor of love.
It isn’t often such classic and powerful rock like this is found in current times, (especially with such quality music production). However, with so many slow songs Breathe Air may be too stagnant for some listeners. The lack of adrenaline is one of the key vitals missing here. The addition of more blues or jazz guitar influence could be enough to spark the sound into a different color of revival, but yellow is pretty obviously the intended direction here.
“She was mine for many years, until pretending got too hard.”
At it’s best, Breathe Air touches, inspires, and motivates. At it’s worst, Breathe Air lulls to sleep. ISI Studios and Gerald Jennings have put together the love for a genre in need of more support. The debut album from Plastic Yellow Band has a lot to offer in terms of quality music production, sentimentality, and a mutual appreciation for classic rock. It may be expected to go unnoticed by many, but Plastic Yellow Band should not go unnoticed by fans of Pink Floyd and John Lennon.
Underground Examinations is a series of Independent Music Reviews with the intention of giving new music a fair and appropriate opportunity to be enjoyed.